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Factbox: Bitcoin's march to the mainstream gathers pace

TechApr 19, 2021 08:00
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A representation of virtual currency Bitcoin is seen in front of a stock graph

LONDON (Reuters) - Bitcoin hit a record high just shy of $65,000 last week, the latest landmark on the emerging asset's march to wider acceptance. Its gains have been fuelled by growing acceptance among major U.S. companies and financial firms.

Here are some steps from big companies, large investors, banks and payment processors that have pushed bitcoin closer to the mainstream in recent months:

INVESTMENT

Dec. 2020:

* British fund manager Ruffer Investment Management says it made a bet on bitcoin worth in December around 550 million pounds ($765 million).

Jan. 2021:

* Investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) says bitcoin could hit $146,000 if it becomes an established safe-haven.

Feb. 2021:

* Carmaker Tesla Inc announces it bought $1.5 billion in bitcoin and says it will soon accept the cryptocurrency as payment for its vehicles.

March 2021:

* Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) becomes the first big U.S. bank to offer its wealth management clients access to bitcoin funds, CNBC reported.

* Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) reopens its crypto trading desk and says it will offer investments in bitcoin and other digital assets to its wealth management clients from the second quarter.

* Daniel Loeb's hedge fund Third Point uses as a custodian cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc, a regulatory filing shows https://sec.report/AdviserInfo/Firms/137927/Form-ADV-137927.pdf.

April 2021:

* Inflows into cryptocurrency funds and products hit a record $4.5 billion in the first quarter, according to asset manager CoinShares.

* UK-based hedge fund Brevan Howard sets up a new fund to invest in digital assets, focusing on a long-only range of digital assets including bitcoin, according to a personal familiar with the matter.

* U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc was valued at $86 billion at the end of its Nasdaq debut, the biggest listing yet by a crypto company.

* U.S. business software firm MicroStrategy, a major investor in cryptocurrency since 2020, says it now holds 91,579 bitcoin.

ACCEPTANCE

Feb. 2021:

* Mastercard (NYSE:MA) unveils plans to support cryptocurrency payments across its network.

* BNY Mellon announces a new unit aimed at helping clients trade and own cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

* The city of Miami votes in favour of a proposal to allow bitcoin to be used to pay city workers and for city residents and businesses to make fee and tax payments with the cryptocurrency.

* Canada's main securities regulator clears the launch of the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, the world's first bitcoin exchange traded fund.

March 2021:

* Payments processor PayPal allows U.S. consumers to use their cryptocurrency holdings to pay at millions of its online merchants globally.

* Tesla Inc customers can now buy its electric vehicles with bitcoin, its boss Elon Musk says.

April 2021:

* Swiss arm of French insurer AXA allows its customers to pay https://www.axa.ch/en/ueber-axa/blog/trend/bitcoin-cryptocurrency%20.html for non-life insurance products with bitcoin.

($1 = 0.7186 pounds)

Factbox: Bitcoin's march to the mainstream gathers pace
 

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