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Bitcoin price hits new all-time high as Mastercard and America’s oldest bank welcome cryptocurrency

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Anthony Cuthbertson
·2 min read
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Bitcoin has risen in price from below $5,000 in March 2020, to over $35,000 in January 2021 (Getty Images)
Bitcoin has risen in price from below $5,000 in March 2020, to over $35,000 in January 2021 (Getty Images)

The price of bitcoin has hit a new all-time high, reaching above $48,000 on Thursday following news that America's oldest bank plans to transfer and issue the cryptocurrency.

Mastercard also announced plans to support cryptocurrency payments on its network this year.

The positive news saw bitcoin rise by around $4,000 on Thursday, building on gains that have seen it triple in value since last November.

Bank of New York Mellon, which was established in 1784, announced that it would begin welcoming bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, eventually treating them like any other asset.

"Digital assets are becoming part of the mainstream," Roman Regelman, chief executive of BNY Mellon's asset-servicing and digital businesses, told The Wall Street Journal.

The news from two traditional finance giants forms part of a wider trend of more mainstream acceptance for cryptocurrencies.

“BNY Mellon’s and Mastercard’s introduction to the cryptocurrency space, following the recent Tesla news, signals another price boom for bitcoin," Don Guo, CEO of Broctagon Fintech Group, told The Independent.

"Such a big institutional endorsement will propel digital assets even further into the main stage this year, and we expect further uptake as a result of the mainstream attention."

Other market experts urged caution on the latest price high, with bitcoin prone to extreme volatility that has seen it jump or crash by more than 10 per cent in recent days.

"Investors must remember that bitcoin is not a simple a get-rich-scheme. In reality, it has been, and will continue to be, susceptible to downward price swings – especially when the short-term winners look to withdraw their earnings," said Gavin Smith, CEO of cryptocurrency consortium Panxora.

"While another upwards price run is on the horizon, investors should remain cautious and look to implement a steady risk management strategy.”

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