Bitcoin nears record before largest US crypto exchange listing
Bitcoin neared an all-time high on Monday, rising above $60,000, propelled by talk of constrained new supplies against evidence of wider adoption.
The world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency rose as much as 2.6% to $61,229, the highest in nearly a month, before falling back to trade little changed.
On March 13, Bitcoin reached a record of $61,742. Bitcoin is up 116% from the year’s low of $27,734 on Jan. 4. It crossed the $60,000 mark for the first time on March 13, hitting a record $61,781.83 on Bitstamp exchange
Against the backdrop of Wall Street’s growing embrace of crypto, the direct listing of digital-token exchange Coinbase Global Inc. is fanning interest.
Coinbase is due to go public on the Nasdaq on April 14, the first listing of its kind for a major cryptocurrency company and a test of investor appetite for other start-ups in the sector.
Bitcoin’s stunning gains this year have been driven by its mainstream
acceptance as an investment and a means of payment, accompanied by the
rush of retail cash into stocks, exchange-traded funds and other risky
Other cryptocurrencies, such as second-ranked Ether, have also been
climbing. The overall value of more than 6,600 coins tracked by CoinGecko
recently surpassed $2 trillion.
Research shows that cryptocurrency is hugely volatile and has limits to
being called ‘money,’ as is used for speculation, which is
prohibited in Islam.
Last month, US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell raised concerns about the role cryptocurrencies play in facilitating criminal activity, as well as their infamous volatility, calling Bitcoin “more of an asset for speculation” than a substitute for the US dollar.
Jerome Powell said the Fed prefers to call crypto coins “crypto assets,” because their volatility undermines their ability to store value, a basic function of a currency.
In Iran, authorities have ordered a temporary suspension of activities in a major cryptocurrency mining factory located southeast of the country amid a significant increase in demand for electricity in the country that has resulted in blackouts and pollution in the capital Tehran and other major cities.
The developments illustrate the regulatory conundrum governments face with crypto assets that by design are intended to be decentralised and beyond their reach, but which are part of a rapidly evolving sector of global finance that pivots on innovation.