From money laundering and capital flight to its carbon footprint, Bitcoin is falling in the crosshairs of regulators.
Bitcoin jumped to an all-time high as the mood in cryptocurrencies turned bullish ahead of Coinbase Global Inc.’s listing this week.
The token rose as much as 5.5% to $63,246, exceeding the previous peak in March. Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks such as Riot Blockchain Inc. and Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. also advanced.
Crypto bulls are out in force as growing list of companies embrace Bitcoin, even as skeptics doubt the durability of the boom. In one of the most potent signs of Wall Street’s growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies, Coinbase will list on the Nasdaq on April 14 at a valuation of about $100 billion.
Coinbase’s debut “will mark the first official juncture between the traditional financial avenue and the alternative crypto path,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote, wrote in a note. “As such, a successful addition to Nasdaq should act as endorsement of cryptocurrencies by traditional investors.”
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley have announced plans to offer their clients access to crypto investments. Tesla Inc. earlier this year disclosed a $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin and more recently started accepting it as payment for electric cars.
Still, skeptics argue that digital coins have been inflated by stimulus that’s also sent stocks to records. Regulators around the world are stepping up oversight and casting doubt on its usefulness as a currency.
Isabel Schnabel, member of the executive board of the European Central Bank, called Bitcoin “a speculative asset without any recognizable fundamental value” in an interview with Der Spiegel this month.
Coinbase’s public debut this week is also boosting the digital coins of other cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Binance Coin, which has jumped to become the third-most valuable cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin and Ether.
Many analyst expect the rally to continue.
“The lowest 30-day volatility since October tells us Bitcoin is ripe to exit its cage and continue in a bull-market on its way to the next $10,000 move,” according to Mike McGlone, Bloomberg Intelligence commodities strategist. “Similar to Tesla’s equity-wealth allocation to Bitcoin, the Coinbase IPO may add to the growing list of 2021 crypto-validation milestones.”