Cryptos: Bitcoin $50,000 milestone nears as world’s No. 1 cryptocurrency rises in 2021

United States

Bitcoin prices on Sunday were approaching a psychological milestone around $ 50,000.

The weekend move pushed the world’s No. 1 digital asset to a fresh record mark of $ 49,716.44, according to CoinDesk, adding to a steady grind toward all-time highs as greater attention and more institutional investments in cryptos has provided a felicitous near-term backdrop for the virtual market.

Bitcoin’s BTCUSD, +5.27% momentum higher has driven it to a year-to-date gain of over 64%, compared with a rise of 2.8% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.09%, a 4.8% advance for the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.47% and fetching 9.4% rally for the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.50% thus far in 2021.

Although, there is no specific news helping to extend gains for bitcoins, the rally comes as the asset appears to be gathering steam and increased attention among the traditional investment community.

Over the weekend, Bloomberg News, citing people familiar, reported that a Morgan Stanley MS, +1.21% investment management unit, Counterpoint Global, was exploring buying cryptos for its investors.

That report comes after The Wall Street Journal earlier last week said that Bank of New York Mellon, BK would hold, transfer and issue bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on behalf of its clients.

“Digital assets are becoming part of the mainstream,” Roman Regelman, chief executive of BNY Mellon’s asset-servicing and digital businesses, was quoted as telling WSJ.

On top of that, last Wednesday, Mastercard MA, -0.55%  said it would support certain cryptocurrencies on its network later this year and Tesla Inc. TSLA, +0.55% said it purchased $ 1.5 billion of bitcoin and would eventually allow customers to use the cryptocurrency to purchase its products.

Read: Why did Tesla buy bitcoin?

See also: Why is dogecoin dropping? The crypto has tumbled 20% since its Monday record

PayPal Holdings Inc. PYPL, +4.68% back in November opened up its cryptocurrency platform to all U.S. customers after conducting a more narrow rollout.

Several high-profile Wall Street investors, including Stanley Druckenmiller and Paul Tudor Jones, also have embraced bitcoin. Famed investor Bill Miller, founder of Miller Value Partners, in a letter to clients recently reaffirmed his bullish outlook on bitcoin.

To be sure, recent developments don’t guarantee an uninterrupted climb higher for bitcoins and other cryptos. Back in late 2017, bitcoin’s price, nearing $ 20,000, staged an epic collapse, sliding to a nadir around $ 3,000 before rebounding years later.

Bullish investors also note that further gains for the asset may be contingent on help from regulators in establishing clear investor protections and rules for usage of cryptos, which are sometimes seen as a tool for swindlers rather than as a means of exchange and a store of value like gold GC00, -0.11%.