Bitcoin (BTC) pushed higher on Friday to a new all-time-high price, stopping just shy of $53,000. At the current level of outstanding bitcoin supplies, a move above $53,665 would push the largest cryptocurrency’s market capitalization to the $1 trillion mark, seen as a milestone in bitcoin’s maturation as a global asset.
Signs continued to mount that bitcoin is seeing increased mainstream adoption – or at least mainstream attention from the likes of the giant bank JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and the bond-investing legend Jeff Gundlach. (See Bitcoin Watch, below.)
But bitcoin perhaps wasn’t even be the biggest story this week in digital-asset markets. Binance coin (BNB), the in-house in-house token from the similarly named cryptocurrency exchange, has soared this month to a $40 billion market capitalization, ranking it third among all digital assets behind bitcoin and Ethereum’s ether (ETH).
PAY YOUR SWISS TAXES IN BTC: The Swiss canton of Zug – dubbed “Crypto Valley” thanks to the many digital-asset companies drawn to the jurisdiction because of its friendly blockchain and crypto regulation – has started accepting tax payments in cryptocurrency. For now, there’s a cap of 100,000 Swiss francs ($111,300). “As the home of the Crypto Valley, it is important to us to further promote and simplify the use of cryptocurrencies in everyday life,” said Zug’s finance director, Heinz Tannler, when the tax initiative was announced.
BIDDERS UP: Christie’s, the 255-year-old auction house of art, antiques and apparently meterorites, will now accept cryptocurrency for payment, Bloomberg reported. “That Christie’s is willing to accept cryptocurrency for the first time,” according to the piece, “says more about the auction house’s attempt to break into new audiences than it does about a shift in the traditional art market.”
Bitcoin beating gold where it counts right now – on the inflation trade
Bitcoin continues to outshine gold amid calls for more fiscal spending to boost the U.S. economy back to full strength.
The world’s biggest cryptocurrency set a new record price of $52,954.49 on Friday, CoinDesk’s Omkar Godbole reported, having scaled the $50,000 mark two days prior. Meanwhile, gold fell to $1,760 early Friday to hit the lowest level since July.
Bitcoin’s potential use as a hedge against inflation, and possibly a better one than gold, has become a key narrative on Wall Street as well as in Washington.
In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package could help the U.S. get back to full employment in a year, a sign that President Joe Biden’s administration is undaunted in pushing for a large bill. She added that the risk associated with delivering too little stimulus is greater than the price of doing something big.
But she added that bitcoin is a “highly speculative asset.”
Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO of the $130 billion DoubleLine Capital and one of the world’s most renowned bond investors, tweeted Thursday that he was a “long-term dollar bear” and that bitcoin was “maybe The Stimulus Asset” and that it “doesn’t look like gold is.” Gundlach previously had said he didn’t believe in bitcoin.
“Lots of liquid poured into a funnel creates a torrent,” Gundlach wrote in the tweet.
Analysts for JPMorgan wrote in an 86-page report that bitcoin’s “competition with gold as an ‘alternative’ currency is here to stay,” though they called it an “economic sideshow” in that “the rise of…