Bitcoin blew through another milestone, surging past $50,000 for the first time as the blistering rally in the largest cryptocurrency continues to captivate investors worldwide.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency jumped as much as 4.9% to $50,548 and is now up about 70% so far this year. Bitcoin pared its gain after setting the record high. Ether, a rival crypto, hit a record on Friday and is up about 140% year-to-date.

After ending last year with a fourth-quarter surge of 170% to around $29,000, Bitcoin token jumped to $40,000 seven days later. It took just nearly six weeks to breach the latest threshold, buoyed by endorsements from the likes of Paul Tudor Jones, Stan Druckenmiller and Elon Musk. Bitcoin traded for a few cents for several years after its debut more than a decade ago.

Tesla Inc.’s announcement that it added $1.5 billion in Bitcoin to its balance sheet was the most visible recent catalyst, sending the price up 16% on Feb. 8, the biggest one-day gain since the Covid-19 inspired financial markets volatility in March. Optimism grew after Mastercard Inc. and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. moved to make it easier for customers to use cryptocurrencies, while Bloomberg reported Saturday that Morgan Stanley may add Bitcoin to its list of possible bets.

“Whether it’s Musk, Mastercard or Morgan Stanley, the mood, music and momentum is impossible to ignore,” said Antoni Trenchev, managing partner and co-founder of Nexo in London, one of the biggest crypto lenders. “To the annoyance of many, the Bitcoin express has left the station.”

Tesla Boots the Bitcoin Bandwagon Closer to Corporate America

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