Greater adoption of crypto assets by payments companies recently may be helping to support a surge in bitcoin prices toward an all-time high.
At last check, the world’s most popular crypto was changing hands at around $58,868 on CoinDesk, up by about 2%. So far this year, bitoin
has risen over a 100% and has gained over 27% in March. By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
is up 7% and the S&P 500
has gained 4% in the month to date.
“Bitcoin has had a stellar year and things only look like getting better for the world’s largest cryptocurrency following these latest corporate announcements,” wrote Samuel Indyk, senior analyst at Investing.com, in a Tuesday note via email.
“In fact, it would not come as a surprise to see Bitcoin reach $100,000 by the end of the year as cryptocurrencies garner further corporate interest and attention from institutional and retail investors,” the analyst added.
The rise of the blockchain-powered asset on Tuesday comes as PayPal Holdings Inc.
said it would start letting its U.S. customers purchase items with crypto, a move that is regarded as the latest embrace of digital assets by a traditional payments player.
In reality, the move is part of gradual but steady integration of crypto in PayPal’s payment infrastructure and had been widely expected after the company, back in October, allowed PayPal users the ability to buy bitcoin, ethereum ETHUSD, Bitcoin Cash BCHUSD and Litecoin LTCUSD through its platform.
Visa adopts USD Coin
PayPal’s deepening moves in the virtual asset world come as Visa Inc.
recently announced a pilot program allowing crypto platforms to settle transactions made with their issued Visa cards in USD Coin without converting funds to fiat currency, marking the first major payments network to use the so-called stablecoin.
Back in January, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Cryptocurrency said in an interpretive letter that U.S. financial institutions are allowed to use stablecoins for payment activities, and can participate as nodes in a blockchain.
Stablecoins—digital currencies that are pegged to an asset like gold
the U.S. dollar
or the euro
usually in equal proportion—are viewed as a bridge between highly volatile assets like bitcoin and ether tokens and traditional assets.
Separately, the CME Group
announced the rollout of micro bitcoin futures. The CME, which began offering bitcoin futures back in 2017, said the micro futures are sized at one-tenth of one bitcoin and will be available on May 3.
Bitcoin futures are mostly used by institutions to hedge…