Cryptocurrencies had another huge week as companies like Tesla and Mastercard continue to push digital assets into the mainstream.
Bitcoin (BTCUSD) broke out to new highs on Monday after Tesla (TSLA) announced a $1.5 billion purchase. That triggered speculation Apple (AAPL) would follow. Twitter (TWTR) CFO Ned Segal added the social-media company was considering a similar move.
Mastercard (MA) also announced on Wednesday that it would support cryptocurrencies later this year. “These digital assets are becoming a more important part of the payments world,” MA executive Raj Dhamodharan said in a post on the company website. We’re “here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value — traditional or crypto — however they want. It should be your choice, it’s your money.”
MA’s statement follows efforts a big step by PayPal (PYPL) in October to let its 340 million users buy and sell cryptos. Separately today, CNBC reported that employees at major banks are pushing their bosses to embrace Bitcoin.
The cryptocurrency market is now worth $1.46 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.com. It’s up 26 percent in the last week and roughly 90 percent this year.
Ethereum Breaks Out
This week also saw the launch of CME futures on Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency.
Ether (ETHUSD), the coin linked with the Ethereum protocol, also rose above $1,800 for the first time. That followed a breakout to new highs at the start of February.
Another catalyst could be Galaxy Digital’s planned launch of funds on Monday, February 15, to enable institutional Ethereum purchases.
In conclusion, the crypto market continues to advance as more traditional firms embrace blockchain technology. Keep reading Market Insights for more updates in coming weeks.