Bitcoin leaps to highest since July 2019 after PayPal opens service to cryptocurrencies | Currency News | Financial and Business News

Reuters

  • Bitcoin spiked as much as 8% on Wednesday after PayPal said it would soon allow users to buy, sell, and hold the popular cryptocurrency.
  • The leap pushed bitcoin to an intraday peak of $12,817.17, its highest level since July 2019.
  • PayPal’s Wednesday announcement marked the latest move by a financial-services giant to accept cryptocurrencies.
  • The billionaire investor and bitcoin bull Michael Novogratz deemed PayPal’s move “the biggest news of the year in crypto.”
  • Watch bitcoin trade live here.

Bitcoin soared as much as 8% on Wednesday after PayPal announced it would open its service to cryptocurrency purchases and sales.

Bitcoin reached an intraday high of $12,817.17, well above its previous 2020 record of $12,473. It was bitcoin’s highest level since July 2019.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency is up more than 11% this week alone. Bitcoin broke through the key $12,000 level on Tuesday, and the PayPal news added more fuel to the upswing.

PayPal said it would allow its users to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies from their accounts starting in a few weeks. It added that more than 26 million merchants using the platform would also be able to accept cryptocurrencies as a funding source.

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PayPal said it planned to expand the features to its Venmo app and international markets through the first half of next year.

Other mainstream financial names have recently adopted the previously ignored asset class. Square scooped up 4,709 bitcoins for $50 million earlier in October, saying bitcoin could become “a more ubiquitous currency” in the future. Fidelity rolled out its first bitcoin-focused fund in August, allowing its wealthier clients to back the volatile tokens.

The billionaire investor Mike Novogratz praised PayPal’s move, deeming it “the biggest news of the year in crypto.” The former hedge-fund manager is the chief executive of Galaxy Investment Partners, a crypto-focused investment firm.

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Novogratz, who has long pushed for widespread adoption of digital currencies, said in a tweet on Wednesday that it was an “exciting day” for cryptocurrency advocates.

“All banks will now be on a race to service crypto,” he said. “We have crossed the rubicon people.”

The coin still has a long climb to retake its 2017 peak of nearly $20,000. Bitcoin traded at $12,714 as of 11:05 a.m. ET, up 76% year-to-date.

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