The original crypto reached a value of over US$61,000 on Saturday night, the first time ever its price has breached the US$60,000 barrier
The price of Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, fell back on Monday morning after strong weekend trading that saw its value reach fresh records.
Just before 2pm GMT on Monday, the digital token was trading at around US$56,790, down 5.2% over a 24-hour period and lower than the all-time high of around US$61,556 reached on Saturday night.
READ: Bitcoin is one of the hottest alternative investments, but it may not be the best
The latest surge, which has been attributed to the latest round of US stimulus measures by some analysts, meant the crypto’s value surpassed US$60,000 for the first time, another milestone in a blockbuster rise that has seen its value balloon around 956% over the last 12 months.
Another factor that may be boosting the price of the asset is signs of its increasing adoption as a mainstream payment method, with a Reuters report on Monday morning describing how makers of Bitcoin ATMs such as CoinFlip and Coin Cloud have been installing thousands of the machines across the US as the recent price rise sparks a flurry of consumer interest in Bitcoin.
There are now Bitcoin ATMs in every US state except Alaska and Washington DC, Reuters said, with US stimulus cheques proving a key source of demands as consumers spend their cash on crypto during lockdown.
“Growing institutional demand is central to the appreciation in Bitcoin in recent months and increasingly investors who have been on the side lines until recently are saying ‘how can we continue to ignore this asset class?’”, said Neil Wilson at Markets.com.
However, Bitcoin’s ascendency could be facing a stiff challenge from regulators as its prominence grows in the global financial system.
The latest hurdle for Bitcoin and the crypto sector has originated in India, where the government is currently discussing proposed legislation that will ban all cryptocurrency use including mining, issuing, transferring and possessing crypto-assets.
A Reuters report, citing an unnamed Indian government official, said the bill is expected to make it onto the statute books thanks to the comfortable majority that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government holds in the Indian Parliament.
Such a law would make India the first major economy to make cryptos entirely illegal, potentially upending the fortunes of investors in the sector.