The price of Bitcoin was up nearly 10% in trading Monday after Citibank said in a note to clients that it thinks the cryptocurrency is at a “tipping point” and could one day “become the currency of choice for international trade.”
Citibank has turned bullish on Bitcoin as firms such as Tesla and PayPal warm to the cryptocurrency and central banks explore the possibility of issuing their own digital currencies.
“There are a host of risks and obstacles that stand in the way of Bitcoin progress,” the U.S. investment bank’s global perspectives and solutions team wrote in a note Monday morning. “Bitcoin’s future is thus still uncertain, but developments in the near term are likely to prove decisive as the currency balances at the tipping point of mainstream acceptance.”
Citibank’s latest remarks represent a change in tone for major financial institutions on Bitcoin. Many banks have historically shunned the digital asset, arguing it has no intrinsic value and the hype surrounding it is overblown.
But Bitcoin’s sharply higher wild growth over the last few months has forced big Wall Street players to re-evaluate the cryptocurrency. BNY Mellon, the oldest bank in the U.S., last month said it would offer custody services for Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Meanwhile, JPMorgan has said it is looking seriously at Bitcoin as an investment.
Just over a week after hitting an all-time high of more than $58,000, Bitcoin’s price dropped more than $10,000. It’s still up over 60% on the year and 460% in the last 12 months. In early trading Monday, Bitcoin’s price was up 9.2% to just over $48,500 each.