After a wild week in which Bitcoin soared to new heights, the cryptocurrency crossed the $50,000 US mark early Tuesday.
Bitcoin rallied to the new high as more companies signalled the volatile digital currency could eventually gain widespread acceptance as a means of payment for goods and services.
Bitcoin has been mostly seen as a store of value, like gold, with very few places to spend it.
Then, last Monday, Elon Musk’s electric car company, Tesla, said it had bought $1.5 billion of Bitcoin as part of a new investment strategy and would soon be accepting it as form of payment for its high-end cars.
Bitcoin has risen around 72 per cent this year, with most of the gains reported since the Tesla announcement.
It remains unclear how many major companies will follow Tesla’s lead. Analysts predict a slow evolution toward widespread usage of the cryptocurrency to pay for goods and services.