Factbox: Bitcoin's march towards the mainstream

LONDON (Reuters) – Bitcoin hit a record high just shy of $65,000 last month, the latest landmark on its march to wider acceptance. A growing embrace by major companies and financial firms, particularly in the United States, have fuelled its gains.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Bitcoin digital currency is seen in a shop in Marseille, France, February 7, 2021. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Here are some of the steps that have pushed the world’s largest cryptocurrency closer to the mainstream this year:


May 2021:

* Auction house Sotheby’s says it would accept bitcoin and second-largest cryptocurrency ethereum as payment for a work by street artist Banksy, a first for a physical art auction.

April 2021:

* Swiss arm of French insurer AXA allows its customers to pay for non-life insurance products with bitcoin here.

March 2021:

* PayPal Holdings Inc allows U.S. consumers to use their cryptocurrency holdings to pay at millions of its online merchants globally.

* Tesla Inc customers can now buy its electric vehicles with bitcoin, its boss Elon Musk says.

Feb. 2021:

* Mastercard Inc unveils plans to support cryptocurrency payments across its network.

* Bank of NY Mellon Corp announces a new unit aimed at helping clients trade and own cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

* Canada’s main securities regulator clears the launch of the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, the world’s first bitcoin exchange traded fund.


May 2021:

* The S&P Dow Jones Indices launches a series of cryptocurrency indices, tracking bitcoin and other major tokens, with plans to add other coins later this year.

April 2021:

* U.S. digital wealth manager Wealthfront says it will start allowing clients to invest in cryptocurrencies later this year, a shift for the California startup whose investment strategy has traditionally been more conservative.

* Inflows into cryptocurrency funds and products hit a record $4.5 billion in the first quarter, digital asset manager CoinShares says.

* UK-based hedge fund Brevan Howard sets up a new fund to invest in digital assets, focusing on a long-only range of digital assets including bitcoin, according to a personal familiar with the matter.

* U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc COIN.O was valued at $86 billion at the end of its Nasdaq debut, the biggest listing yet by a crypto company.

* U.S. business software firm MicroStrategy Inc, a major investor in cryptocurrency since 2020, says it now holds 91,579 bitcoin.

March 2021:

* Morgan Stanley becomes the first big U.S. bank to offer its wealth management clients access to bitcoin funds, CNBC reported.

* Goldman Sachs Group Inc reopens its crypto trading desk and says it will offer investments in bitcoin and other digital assets to its wealth management clients from the second quarter.

* Daniel Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point uses as a custodian cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc, a regulatory filing shows.

Feb. 2021:

* Carmaker Tesla Inc announces it bought $1.5 billion in bitcoin and says it will soon accept the cryptocurrency as payment for its vehicles.

Source: Read Full Article