Bitcoin yesterday hit a fresh record above US$47,000 after Tesla Inc’s announcement of a US$1.5 billion investment in the largest cryptocurrency.
The token rose as much as 6.3 percent to almost US$47,493 in Asian trading before paring some of the gains. It was at about US$46,455 as of 12:22pm in Hong Kong.
Tesla’s disclosure on Monday sent the price soaring.
The company also said it would begin accepting the digital token as a form of payment for its electric vehicles.
The developments amounted to the biggest endorsement of the controversial cryptocurrency by a mainstream firm.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer and the world’s richest man, has for weeks been commenting about digital coins, buffeting their prices.
“One by one, corporations will add bitcoin to their balance sheets and it couldn’t get bigger than Tesla,” said Vijay Ayyar, head of Asia Pacific with cryptocurrency exchange Luno in Singapore. “Imagine if 100 companies start putting even 1 percent into bitcoin, what that is going to do to demand and supply.”
A rally was also evident in bitcoin futures, suggesting that shorts were throwing in the towel and signaling traders they would not fight the crypto advance.
The wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index jumped to a record. Japanese and South Korean cryptocurrency-exposed stocks rose, tracking US and European peers.
Bitcoin’s ascent to its latest summit came with big swings that continue to stoke controversy about its outlook. Predictions for its possible long-term price range from US$400,000 and more to zero. Risks for cryptocurrencies range from tightening rules to concerns about their use in terrorist and criminal financing.
Proponents cite backing from the likes of Musk and signs of interest from long-term investors as evidence of a durable bitcoin rally. They envisage a role for the token as a hedge for risks such as faster inflation, akin to gold. Skeptics see speculators at work and echoes of the 2017 boom that turned to bust.
“The crypto craze is entirely driven by short-term speculative momentum/mania,” Oanda Asia Pacific Pte senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley wrote in e-mailed comments. “For all the noise I keep hearing about how high bitcoin may go, the noise around how it will be used in everyday life is deafeningly silent.”
In the wake of Tesla’s investment, Michael Novogratz, founder of crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital, said bitcoin might reach US$100,000 by the end of this year.
Michael Saylor, chief executive officer of MicroStrategy Inc, declared bitcoin the “scarcest asset” in the world.
Bitcoin is designed to have a fixed supply of 21 million coins, underpinned by a digital ledger distributed across computer networks. It has more than quadrupled over the past year.
Commentators have cited demand from day traders, wealthy buyers, hedge funds, companies and even interest from usually staid investors like insurers.
Alphabet Inc’s Google on Tuesday announced plans to buy a New York office building for US$2.1 billion, confirming its push into the US’ largest city despite the COVID-19 teleworking trend. This is the largest real-estate purchase in the US for an office building since the beginning of the global spread of COVID-19, the Wall Street Journal quoted Real Capital Analytics as saying. Google already rents the premises in Manhattan, which are located on the site of a former railroad terminal in the Hudson Square neighborhood. The Silicon Valley giant envisions a campus with a total surface area of 160,000m2 by mid-2023
‘CORE VALUES’: The contract chipmaker did not specify why the employees were dismissed, but media reports said they had leaked information about customer orders Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has fired seven of its employees for violating the company’s “core values,” the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. While the company did not disclose exactly why it fired the seven employees, local media reports earlier in the day said that the employees had leaked confidential information about customer orders. In a statement, the company said that it fired the seven at once, adding that it released an internal notice last week to inform the entire company of the move ahead of the four-day Mid-Autumn Festival holilday, which ended on Tuesday. TSMC said it fired the seven
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