Bitcoin has overtaken Facebook and Tesla to become the ninth most valuable asset in the world.
The price of the cryptocurrency hit new all-time highs on Tuesday morning, taking it above $47,000 (£34,000) for the first time in its history.
The gains pushed its market capitalisation close to $900 billion, causing bitcoin to leapfrog both tech giants in terms of overall market value.
Other major cryptocurrencies have also experienced a significant surge in value in recent days, including bitcoin cash, dogecoin, ethereum and litecoin. The combined market cap of all cryptocurrencies is now $1.4 trillion, putting it on par with Alphabet (Google).
Bitcoin’s price was boosted by Tesla’s announcement that it had invested $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency and would begin accepting it as payment for its electric vehicles in the future.
“This moment will likely be looked upon in years to come as a genuine tipping point; Elon Musk and Tesla’s support legitimises cryptocurrency and opens up bitcoin to a whole new class of retail and institutional investors,” said Dermot O’Riordan, a partner of venture capital firm Eden Block.
“It’s exciting times for bitcoin, as well as ethereum, and the emerging global decentralised financial ecosystem. Now it seems all of Wall Street is in bed with this industry – if they weren’t paying attention before, they are now.”
Bitcoin rose from below $40,000 to close to $44,000 in the space of just a few minutes following Tesla’s announcement, highlighting the volatile nature of the market.
Longer-term predictions have been increasingly bold and positive over the last few months, encouraged by bitcoin’s rise from below $5,000 last March to today’s new record.