Bitcoin rises as Citigroup, Goldman Sachs climb on cryptocurrency allure bandwagon

*Critics have maintained the digital asset’s surge is a speculative bubble and it’s destined for a bust, but proponents point to growing institutional adoption as Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warming up to the largest cryptocurrency

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Bitcoin touched the $50,000 level in Asia trading, riding a broad resurgence in risk assets, with Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warming up to the largest cryptocurrency.

The digital asset climbed as much as 2.8 percent Tuesday, March 2, and was holding at $49,080 as of 9:05 a.m. in Hong Kong.

Prices last week suffered the worst decline since March and dipped as low as $43,000 Sunday, Bitcoin climbed to a record $58,350 February 21.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are drawing increasing attention from mainstream financial institutions and Wall Street players, alongside a growing focus from government regulators as well, as the nascent industry’s outlook continues to be subject to furious debate, says agency report.

It was gathered the proponents of the virtual currency point to growing institutional adoption while detractors warn prices are in a speculative bubble.

Cboe Global Markets Inc. disclosed it is seeking approval to list and trade shares of what could be the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund in the US, according to a Monday regulatory filing.

Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued an investor alert on the industry, warning consumers about its susceptibility to “speculative bubbles” and abuse by criminals.

In a report by Citigroup’s Global Perspectives & Solutions, strategists laid out a case for Bitcoin to play a bigger role in the global financial system, saying the cryptocurrency could become “the currency of choice for international trade” in the years ahead.

Bitcoin has advantages over the current global payment system, such as its decentralized design, lack of foreign exchange exposure and traceability, the strategists said.

Goldman is restarting a trading desk for cryptocurrencies, a source familiar with the effort said.

The Wall Street bank will begin offering Bitcoin futures among other products by mid-March after halting a similar effort started in 2018, according to the person, who asked to be named because the plans haven’t been announced.

Ed Moya, senior market analyst for OANDA, said: “The more banks that come out with constructive comments on Bitcoin, the more likely the speculative bubble will continue to grow.”

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