Bitcoin (opens in new tab) is continuing to gain wider acceptance within mainstream financial circles after it was announced that BNY Mellon would launch a new digital assets unit to explore enterprise solutions (opens in new tab) involving cryptocurrencies.
"BNY Mellon is proud to be the first global bank to announce plans to provide an integrated service for digital assets," Roman Regelman, CEO of Asset Servicing and Head of Digital at BNY Mellon, said (opens in new tab). "Growing client demand for digital assets, maturity of advanced solutions, and improving regulatory clarity present a tremendous opportunity for us to extend our current service offerings to this emerging field. Pending further evaluations and approvals, we expect to begin offering these innovative and industry-shaping capabilities later this year."
The announcement comes just a few days after Tesla founder Elon Musk revealed that his company had purchased Bitcoin equivalent to $1.5 billion and would soon accept the cryptocurrency as a form of payment for its vehicles. From once being a niche, underground phenomenon, Bitcoin is now surely worth serious consideration for both individuals in both consumer and business finance (opens in new tab) circles.
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Unsurprisingly, the positive news surrounding cryptocurrencies of late has resulted in a price surge for its most famous offering. Bitcoin hit a record valuation of $48,481.45 earlier this week and has risen in value by approximately 66% this year alone. Since mid-March, the currency has grown in value by a staggering 1,200%.
Bitcoin is also far from the only cryptocurrency surging in value. Ether, the currency native to the Ethereum blockchain, also reached a record high (opens in new tab) earlier this month following the news that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange would allow the trading of Ethereum futures contracts.
Although cryptocurrencies have not completely shaken off their reputation as an instrument for illegal activity, and environmental concerns remain about the energy-intensive mining (opens in new tab) process, recent developments certainly point towards a stable future, in the medium-term at least. The question remains: For how much longer can their value continue to climb?
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Via Reuters (opens in new tab)