Bitcoin rallied to a record high on Friday (Mar 8) in volatile trade, as crypto mania continued to sweep through the investment community.

The leading cryptocurrency topped the US$70,000 mark for the first time, boosted by investor demand for new US spot exchange-traded crypto products and expectations for global interest rates to fall.

Billions of dollars have flowed into ETFs in the past few weeks and the market is getting extra support from an outlook that includes an upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain platform, home to bitcoin rival ether, and a bitcoin “halving” event, which slows the flow of bitcoin minting, in April.

The approval of 11 spot bitcoin ETFs by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in late January marked a watershed moment for the industry, following an 18-month-long crypto winter plagued by a string of high-profile corporate bankruptcies and scandals.

Even institutional investors who once shunned crypto due to its sharp and wild moves have begun committing long-term money too, which analysts say could help sustain the latest leg of this rally.

Net flows into the 10 largest US spot bitcoin funds reached US$2.2 billion in the week ended Mar 1, with more than US$2 billion of that going into BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust, according to LSEG data.

The recent optimism over Bitcoin has also spilt over to other digital tokens, particularly ether, which ranks second behind Bitcoin in terms of total market value, up more than 60 per cent since the start of the year.

Still, some say it’s hard to shake off the speculative nature of these assets. After hitting the record high on Tuesday, bitcoin sharply reversed course and fell more than 10 per cent back below the US$60,000 level

Source: Reuters