Bitcoin climbed above $41,000 per coin for the first time amid continued interest in the digital currency as a hedge against inflation and an alternative to the falling dollar.
In August, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor announced that his company would begin using bitcoin as its primary treasury reserve asset. Since then, the business intelligence firm has purchased 70,470 bitcoins which are now valued at more than $2.9 billion.
Shares of MicroStrategy are already up almost 42% this year, and on Friday they were rising 2.22% to $550.18.
Meanwhile, Nasdaq-listed crypto mining firm Marathon Patent Group (MARA) - Get Report reached a total market value of $1 billion earlier this week thanks to bitcoin's rise. It has risen 169% just since the beginning of the year, and was up 24% to $27.66 on Friday.
The total market capitalization for all cryptocurrencies is now above $1 trillion, according to research firm CoinGecko.
Thanks to bitcoin, that total has soared almost fivefold over the past year. Bitcoin recently traded at a record high of $41,267 Friday, and has ascended roughly 400% in the past year. That puts its market cap at about $779 billion.
On the same day in December that bitcoin hit $20,000, Scott Minerd, chief investment officer at Guggenheim Investments, told Bloomberg that the Federal Reserve’s “rampant money printing” should ultimately push bitcoin to $400,000.
And JPMorgan Chase analysts said this week that a price of $146,000 may be possible.
Bitcoin bulls say it will benefit from its scarcity. For now there’s a limit of 21 million bitcoins that can be mined, and 18.5 million already are in circulation.
But this scarcity also leads to volatile trading. Bitcoin has plunged several times since it was introduced in 2009.