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Bitcoin’s prices keep rising as the cryptocurrency has now hit a new record of $60,000, BBC reported, with a total market value of $1 trillion as of last month.

Bitcoin has seen its value almost triple since the end of 2020, powered by several big-name companies, including Tesla and Mastercard, which have touted its use and bought up some of the crypto, according to the report.

BBC reported that this new record is the product of the latest round of stimulus checks starting to go out after President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid bill became law.

But Bitcoin does have a track record of being volatile, and the prices have often fallen sharply since the coin’s creation, BBC reported. Critics have said the coin isn’t a currency so much as a “speculative trading tool” that can be open to market manipulation. And there’s been concern over the environment as there’s a large amount of energy needed to conduct transactions.

But the coin has also been touted by high-profile actors. Tesla and its founder, Elon Musk, brought it into more prominence early this year as the company bought $1.5 billion worth of the coin, also announcing that it would be accepted as payment in the future.

Meanwhile, Mastercard has become amenable to the idea of cryptocurrency, too, announcing that it would be accepting some types as payment.

In addition, BBC noted the pandemic as another driver for the crypto-boom, with more people looking online to buy and sell and moving away from physical currencies.

The new interest in Bitcoin, with its skyrocketing prices, has made the Wall Street world take notice, with Goldman Sachs revamping its cryptocurrency desk that had been nixed back in 2018, intending to trade Bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards for clients. That was a change from last year when Goldman declared crypto “not an asset class.”

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PYMNTS STUDY: A NEW APPROACH FOR MODERNIZING PAYMENTS IN BANKING – 2021

About The Study: A New Approach For Modernizing Payments In Banking, a PYMNTS collaboration with Red Hat and Temenos, is a research-based report examining the trends transforming retail commerce and how these shifts are creating new challenges and opportunities for banks. The report aims to offer banks a roadmap to help them gain the technical capacity to support digital payments in all their forms.

(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2021-03-14 16:51:18
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