Bitcoin’s market value reached $1 trillion for the first time, a surge that’s helping cryptocurrency returns far outstrip the performance of more traditional assets like stocks and gold.
The largest digital-asset has added more than $450 billion of value in 2021 to more than $1 trillion, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, which includes Bitcoin and four other coins, has more than doubled.
Speculators, corporate treasurers and institutional investors are thought to have stoked Bitcoin’s volatile ascent. Crypto believers are dueling with skeptics for the dominant narrative around the climb: the former see an asset being embraced for its ability to hedge risks such as inflation, while the latter sense a precarious mania riding atop waves of monetary and fiscal stimulus.
Still, many analysts and investors remain sceptical of the patchily-regulated and highly volatile digital asset, which is still little used for commerce.
Analysts at JP Morgan said bitcoin’s current prices were well above estimates of fair value. Mainstream adoption increases bitcoin’s correlation with cyclical assets, which rise and fall with economic changes, in turn reducing benefits of diversifying into crypto, the investment bank said in a memo.
Rival cryptocurrency ether traded down 0.5 percent, still near a record of $1,951 reached earlier on Friday. It has been lifted by growing institutional interest, and after its futures were launched on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.