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Bitcoin hits $50,000 mark as equity markets go on holiday

Mainstream embrace of cryptocurrency pushes up price after Tesla bounce

Bitcoin briefly crossed the $50,000 mark for the first time on Feb. 16 as Tesla and other big market players have embraced the cryptocurrency.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The price of bitcoin breached $50,000, passing a major milestone just over a week after electric car maker Tesla revealed it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin, the world's most widely traded cryptocurrency with a market cap of $926.5 billion, hit $50,001.35 late on Tuesday night before later dipping back below the line. The virtual currency has surged over the past 11 months, recovering from a March rout that saw its price drop by 30%. The rebound has been fueled by government stimulus and institutional investors entering the market, as well as the jolt from Tesla, which pushed the price over $48,000 for the first time.

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