Bitcoin hits $51,000 for the first time as cryptocurrency fever continues

Bitcoin topped $51,000 on Wednesday, continuing its stunning rise.

The largest cryptocurrency rose almost 6% on Wednesday to about $51,431 after a fivefold surge in the past year.

The digital currency has rallied nearly 260% since the beginning of November.

Investors have sent the price of bitcoin skyrocketing during the pandemic as the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to near zero in March 2020, severely weakening the US dollar.

As bitcoin surges to all-time highs, big, name-brand investors are stockpiling it, and huge consumer companies are embracing it, further fuelling bitcoin’s soaring valuation.

Tesla, the most valuable car company on the stock market, said last week it is holding some of its cash in bitcoin rather than traditional currency. And it may soon accept the digital currency as payment for its cars.

Mastercard also announced it will support “select cryptocurrencies” directly on its network later this year. That represented a major milestone for bitcoin.

Governments in Canada’s Ontario state and United States’ Florida state are also seeking to embrace bitcoin.