By Jesse Pound, CNBC
THE price of bitcoin crossed another major milestone on Friday, as the cryptocurrency’s market value surpassed $1 trillion, according to Coindesk.
The digital currency was trading at just under $54,000 per coin on Friday as it hit the new level, and rose above $55,000 later in the session for a daily gain of more than 6%, according to Coin Metrics. The price of bitcoin has now gained about 360% over the past six months. Before the recent surge, the digital asset has never traded above $20,000.
Bitcoin traded at around $10,000 per coin a year ago.
The move has been fueled in part by increased adoption of bitcoin by major investors and companies. The oldest bank in the United States, the Bank of New York Mellon, announced earlier this month that it was moving into the space. Elon Musk’s Tesla converted some of its balance sheet cash into bitcoin earlier this year and said it would start accepting the digital tokens as payment.
Bitcoin “has started to get so big that it arguably creates its own demand as companies and institutions begin to make forays into a field they wouldn’t have touched a few months previously,” Deutsche Bank research strategist Jim Reid said in a note. “Ironically it is turning itself into a credible asset class to many by rallying so much of late and also by getting increasing institutional buy-in.”
Market value is calculated by multiplying the price of bitcoin by the number created. While not a perfect comparison, the $1 trillion market value would make bitcoin’s value greater than all but a handful of the world’s stocks. Tesla, for instance, has a market cap of around $700 billion, while Apple is valued at more than $2 trillion.
Pro-bitcoin investors and entrepreneurs celebrated the milestone on social media.
“From white paper to $1 Trillion. #Bitcoin is eating gold alive,” Gemini’s Cameron Winklevoss said on Twitter.
“RIP bears,” tweeted Anthony Pompliano, co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital Assets.
To be sure, not everyone on Wall Street has been convinced of bitcoin’s future prospects. Citadel Securities founder Ken Griffin said on Friday that he was not interested in cryptocurrency, while researchers at JPMorgan have said bitcoin’s rally is unsustainable.
Top: A bitcoin chart by Getty Images and published by CNBC