On Friday, Bitcoin increased to a nearly three-year high as investors continued to scoop the virtual currency on expectations it could well exceed its all-time peak of just under $20,000.
Bitcoin rose to $18,766.79, the highest since December 2017, and was last up 4.9 percent at $18,696. It has gained 17 percent so far this week, the largest weekly gain since June 2019, climbing more than 160 percent so far this year.
Alex Mashinsky, chief executive officer at Celsius Network, a crypto lending platform said that “Today bitcoin has gotten to a place where institutional investors, banks, and family offices are legitimately pondering involvement as a defense against currency devaluation.”
He said that in 2017, the rally in bitcoin was led by retail investors who were early adopters.
He also added that “Because large players, like LINE and PayPal, are involved this go around, we can expect more stability than the 2017 bubble. This isn’t a gold rush anymore.”
The bitcoin market now boasts a functioning derivatives market and custody services by established financial institutions.
Other major cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and XRP, which often move in tandem with bitcoin, rose 7.2 percent to $505.2, and three percent to 31 cents, respectively.