Wednesday, 17 February 2021 06:33

Bitcoin rises above US$50,000 for first time Featured

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Bitcoin rises above US$50,000 for first time Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The cryptocurrency bitcoin rose above US$50,000 (A$64,399) on Tuesday US time, before falling back a bit, the first time the digital currency has hit this level.

Reuters reported that the currency hit US$50,602 and then fell back to US$49,100, adding that this meant it had risen by about 70% in 2021.

A large percentage of the gain in value has come after electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla said it had bought bitcoin worth US$1.5 billion.

Some of the other well-known Americans to endorse the digital currency have been Twitter chief Jack Dorsey and rapper Jay-Z.

The value of the lesser-known cryptocurrency, ethereum, rose by 1.5% hitting a level which was just shy of its record high of US$1874.98.

Reuters quoted George Lagarias of global audit, accounting and consulting group Mazars as saying the degree of volatility displayed by bitcoin was cause for concern.

“We feel that, due to its volatility, bitcoin lacks many of the established qualities that make up ‘money’, such as being a stable store of value and unit of account," he said.

“As an intangible asset with no yield or practical use, save for a few organisations who accept it as payment, it is really just demand (against a predictable supply) which determines its price.

“But whereas the price of bitcoin has risen to the skies, what value one gets from holding it in a long-term portfolio still remains subject of much debate.”

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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