Boosted by its increasingly widespread use and by the risk appetite of the markets, the price of bitcoin, the first decentralized cryptocurrency, exceeded $ 19,800 on Monday, November 30 for the first time since its creation eleven ago. years.
At around 4:15 p.m., the price of bitcoin climbed to $ 19,857, its all-time high, before falling back to $ 19,370 around 5 p.m. Its previous record was reached on December 18, 2017 at $ 19,511, according to data compiled from several exchange platforms by the Bloomberg agency.
Bitcoin is up 175% since the start of the year, with a surge of more than 40% since October 21, when online payments giant Paypal announced it was launching a buy, sell service. and payment by cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin compared to gold
While its use as a digital currency remains limited by high transaction costs and its volatility, investors adept in alternative investments have adopted cryptocurrency. At its previous peak in 2017, it was mostly retail investors. But analysts at major investment banks, such as JPMorgan or Citi, have compared bitcoin to gold in recent weeks, another asset close to currencies without being a practical means of payment.
“Bitcoin could compete with gold as a currency “alternative” in the coming years, as a new generation of investors takes an ever larger share in the market ”, wrote analysts at JPMorgan.
An analysis that does not, for the moment, achieve consensus on the market: “Bitcoin is a currency if people trust it, and although it’s been around for a while we’ve been using gold and silver as a way to hold value for thousands of years”, recalled an analyst from Societe Generale in a note.
But as central banks step up efforts to revive a global economy plagued by the Covid-19 pandemic, investors are snapping up risky assets, while the dollar plunges.
Bitcoin has not been the only one to benefit from this thirst for purchases in recent weeks. The New York Stock Exchange’s flagship index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, surpassed 30,000 points for the first time in its existence on Tuesday before retreating, as the Nasdaq and S&P hit record highs Friday.