Bitcoin price SURGE: Cryptocurrency jumps beyond $49K for first time in major milestone

Bitcoin had traded as high as $49,714 earlier on Sunday before falling slightly to $48,800 later in the day. The cryptocurrency is continuing its huge momentum from last year, with its price already surging by 70 percent so far in 2021. Bitcoin and other popular virtual currencies are now increasingly entering the mainstream as an asset and routine payment vehicle.

Last Monday, bitcoin's price jumped 20 percent after Tesla, owned by Elon Musk, said it had made a $1.5billion investment.

The firm added it would eventually accept the ever popular cryptocurrency as payment for its cars.

That was bitcoin's largest daily rise in more than three years.

This saw it climb to an all-time high of $48,216.09.

Mr Musk briefly became the world's richest person as shares of Tesla surged nearly 500 percent to become the fifth most valuable company in the US.

Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital LLC in New York, said: "If any lesser mortals had made the decision to put part of their balance sheet in Bitcoin, I don't think it would have been taken seriously.

"But when the richest man in the world does it, everyone has to take a second look."

Just days after the announcement from Tesla, BNY Mellon said it had established a unit to help clients hold, transfer and issue digital assets.

On Friday, Toronto-based asset management company Purpose Investments Inc said in a statement the Ontario Securities Commission in Canada had approved the launch of Purpose Bitcoin ETF.

In another statement to Reuters, the OSC confirmed it had cleared the launch of the world's first bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

In addition on Friday, Miami's Mayor Francis Suarez said the city in Florida is looking to embrace bitcoin in its operations.

Last month Blackrock, the world's largest asset manager, announced it had added bitcoin as an eligible investment to two funds, as rapid adoption of the cryptocurrency continued.

Bitcoin's surge towards mainstream finance has also been boosted by plans from credit card giant Mastercard to offer support for some cryptocurrencies.

Despite this, many banks still remain cautious over engaging with bitcoin.

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