Bitcoin reached an all-time-high price against the U.S. dollar Monday morning, besting a record set nearly three years ago.
The digital, decentralized, deflationary asset (BTC) sold for $19,850.11 shortly after 10 AM EST, according to Coindesk data. Its previous high was set on December 17, 2017 at around $19,783. It began trading that year below $1,000 but began smashing records in the summer, fueled by intense interest from retail investors, many of whom were taken in by a Ponzi scheme called BitConnect.
UPDATE: This new record has already been broken. According to Coindesk, BTC traded at $19,920.53 Tuesday morning shortly after 6 AM EST.
After several years of correction to that parabolic bull run, Bitcoin markets have seen high volatility in 2020 — starting the year around $7,000, crashing below $5,000 at the time of the stock market’s massive coronavirus selloff, then seeing an uptick in institutional investment after its “halving” — a software feature which periodically cuts the growth rate of its monetary supply by half.
Less than two weeks ago, BTC’s market capitalization hit an all-time high; on November 19, it reached a unit price of about $18,400 that, with more than one million new Bitcoins in circulation, surpassed the network’s overall value seen during its 2017 euphoric rise.
Bitcoin’s 2020 bull run has been fueled less by everyday investors and more by financial institutions, with firms such as Grayscale Bitcoin Trust leading the charge. In late October, PayPal (which also owns Venmo) announced it would begin integrating Bitcoin and other so-called cryptocurrencies. Pantera Capital, another investment firm dedicated to Bitcoin and its imitators, estimates that PayPal and Jack Dorsey’s Square (the owner of Cash App, a popular Bitcoin purchase on-ramp) are buying up BTC faster than it is being created, or “mined.”