Bitcoin continued its ascent into record territory on Thursday, extending Wednesday’s gains as broader optimism about digital assets stoked by the token’s run helped push the overall value of cryptocurrencies to an all-time peak.
One bitcoin recently traded at $65,701.33, up 2.92% though below its peak of almost $67,000 reached during the trading day Wednesday. It is now above its previous record high of $64,895 reached this past summer. The digital token fell by some 50% over the summer months, hitting $32,000 in July, but has steadily risen since.
Bitcoin’s gains also pulled other cryptocurrencies higher, including Ether, XRP, Cardano, Polkadot, Stellar, Tezos and Binance Coin, which according to a report published Wednesday by crypto strategists at Fundstrat are all “close to their own breakouts.”
Ether -- the largest token after bitcoin -- was up more than 11% on Thursday to within striking distance of its highest value of almost $4,400 achieved in May, according to CoinGecko.
The overall value of the cryptocurrency market is now more than $2.7 trillion.
The rapid ascent of digital currencies shows how bets on cryptos are spreading beyond bitcoin amid enthusiasm about more mainstream adoption of digital assets following the launch of the first bitcoin futures-linked exchanged-traded fund in the U.S.
Tech billionaire investor Peter Thiel told The Information on Wednesday that the U.S. political system is not sustainable, and the skyrocketing price of decentralized bitcoin underscores that point – and suggests its ongoing rally has legs.
"I don't know that you should put all your money into bitcoin at $60,000 a bitcoin right now," Thiel said at gathering of the Federalist Society this week.
"But surely the fact that it is at $60,000 is an extremely hopeful sign," he said. "It's the canary in the coal mine. It's the most honest market we have in the country, and it's telling us that this decrepit … regime is just about to blow up."