2021-02-19 08:00:00

Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs

SINGAPORE/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bitcoin hit a fresh high on Saturday, extending a two-month rally that took its market capitalization above $1 trillion on Friday.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency rose to a record $57,553, taking its weekly gain to around 20%. It has surged nearly 100% this year.

Bitcoin’s gains have been fueled by evidence it is gaining acceptance among mainstream investors and companies, such as Tesla Inc, Mastercard Inc and BNY Mellon.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and daily volume, on Saturday hit a record $2,040.62, for a weekly gain of about 12%.

Ether is the digital currency or token that facilitates transactions on the ethereum blockchain. In the crypto world, the terms ether and ethereum have become interchangeable.

Ether futures contracts launched on derivatives exchange CME earlier this month.

Elon Musk, the billionaire chief executive of Tesla, said on Saturday the price of bitcoin and ethereum seemed high.

Reporting by Vidya Ranganathan in Singapore; Additional reporting by Megan Davies in New York; Editing by William Mallard and Matthew Lewis

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