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Bitcoin reaches all-time high, trading well above $20k

Bitcoin surged on Wednesday to reach a new all-time high, trading well above $20k. Yahoo Finance's Dan Roberts joined Yahoo Finance Live to break down the surge and how Visa has been getting into crypto.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Bitcoin crossing above 20,000 today, continuing its recent rally and setting a new record high. We want to bring in Dan Roberts for a little bit more on this because, of course, he follows everything at Bitcoin for us. And Dan, when you take a look at Bitcoin's momentum, it's really incredible. Right now, what is it? Well on its way to 21,000. The excitement around this certainly is not fading. What's going on here this time around?

DAN ROBERTS: Yeah, Seana, it's interesting. You mentioned that Bitcoin finally has surpassed $20,000 for coin. That had been seen for months and months as a real resistance level. Then, of course, today, it not only hit that mark, but it surged past it. The high that we've seen on Yahoo Finance, which uses coin market cap data, was 20,820 today. So way past that 20,000 mark, a consensus all-time high for sure. As I always caveat to viewers, different exchanges give different prices. But today, definitely a massive new kind of ceiling for Bitcoin.

We've talked about this for the last few weeks and months. We've seen a big rise in 2020. It depends whom you ask. There's been institutional investment. More and more Wall Street firms getting in, as well as individual hedge fund names kind of changing their tune publicly about Bitcoin. In fact, just a few hours ago, someone from Guggenheim was on Bloomberg TV, saying that he thinks, by their calculations, Bitcoin eventually should be worth 400,000 in coin. I don't know how soon we'll see that. But you have seen a lot of kind of traditional finance types saying, we're now allocating some slice of our portfolio to digital assets.

So the tune is changing. There's the institutional side. Then, of course, there's the consumer-facing side-- PayPal and Square. Those have been the two biggest names to really publicly buy in. Of course, Square added Bitcoin buying to its cash app way back in 2018. But then, this year, Square also went ahead and just bought $50 million worth of Bitcoin as an asset on its balance sheet. PayPal, of course, in October, announced it's going to add Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to its digital wallet, along with Venmo, which PayPal owns.

And then, finally, Seana, just today, I'd add into the mix Visa. A lot more attention has been on PayPal and Square, but Visa also has kind of quietly allowed partnerships for a number of Bitcoin rewards, credit, and debit cards. And I reached out to Visa. They said they have ventures in the works with 25 different cryptocurrency companies. I don't think it's received as much attention because it really hasn't been as kind of public-facing as the PayPal and Square stuff.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Well, Dan, you beat us to the punch because we want to talk about why is it such a big deal for Visa, as you've written about in today's story on Yahoo Finance. They did this very quietly. It's almost like pay no attention to that, you know, man or woman behind the curtain. Why is it such a huge deal that Visa-- I mean, it seems a little obvious, but.

DAN ROBERTS: Yeah, I mean, I agree with you, though. It has been quiet. That's how I'd phrase it. And I think that's by design. You know, credit, arguably, to PayPal and Square for being willing to be so public about it. You know, some of these Bitcoin rewards debit or credit cards, they all need Visa's sign-off in order to launch them. So they all represent a partnership with Visa.

But it's not the same as PayPal saying we're adding Bitcoin to our PayPal and Venmo app. So it's not as much kind of a Visa solo initiative. It's more of a partnership. So I'd argue it's been done more quietly. That said, let's keep in mind, Visa is bigger both by market cap and by 2019 revenue than PayPal and Square combined. So even if it's been a little more quiet, the cryptocurrency-friendly steps by Visa have huge potential here.

SEANA SMITH: All right, Dan Roberts, as always, thank you. And we have to keep a close eye on Bitcoin because certainly, nothing seems to be stopping this move to the upside. All right, Dan Roberts, thanks so much for joining us.