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Bitcoin nears $54,000 level, highest in two weeks as big-money bets flow

Bitcoin flirted with the $54,000 level and hit a two week high Tuesday, aided by more signs of institu tional interest in the largest cryptocurrency.The digital token rose as much as 4.3% and was trading at about $53,900 as of 12:54 p.m. in Hong Kong. Rival Ether also jumped, extend ing a two-day rally in the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index to some 13%. “Bitcoin and Ethereum bull ishness are back as more big-money bets keep flow ing into cryptocurrencies,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, wrote in an email. “Institutional in terest still seems strong.” The narrative that longer term investors such as family offices, insurers and corporate treasurers are adding exposure to tokens is controversial but gaining traction. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recently said it’s seeing substantial demand from institutions as it works to restart its cryptocurrency trading desk. 

That marks out the current bull run in Bitcoin as differ ent to the 2017 bubble that burst, according to Gold man Sachs. For skeptics, the crypto rally represents a prime example of specu lative froth triggered by huge stimulus that could quickly unwind once finan cial conditions tighten.Bit coin is in a “strong position” to reach $75,000, Evercore ISI strategist Rich Ross wrote in a note. The cryp tocurrency has been through some wild gyra tions and currently sits about $4,500 off a record of $58,350 achieved Feb. 21. It’s up almost 600% in the past year, a rally that dwarfs more traditional as sets. Ether, the second largest token, has been rallying on the prospect of reduced supply amid an ongoing upgrade of the af filiated Ethereum blockchain.NYDIG, a provider of Bitcoin custodial services to institutions, said life, annuity and prop erty/casualty insurers have more than $1 billion of di rect and indirect Bitcoin ex posure on its platform. 

NYDIG also announced a $200 million growth capital round led by strategic part ners including Stone Ridge Holdings Group, Morgan Stanley, New York Life, MassMutual and Soros Fund Management, among others. In recent days, oil billionaire Kjell Inge Rokke came out in favor of Bit coin. Rokke’s Aker ASA is setting up a new business to tap into its potential. Over the weekend, Chi nese beauty app Meitu Inc. said it invested in Ether and Bitcoin. Last month, Tesla Inc. said it invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin.



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