Two unlikely protagonists help push cryptocurrencies to record highs

Elon Musk and Snoop Dogg are not two people you would expect to see being spoken about in the same news article, except maybe for their shared love of a certain herb (which is certainly part of Snoop’s brand, in particular). However, these two unlikely celebrities have each played a big part in sending the cryptocurrency markets soaring over the past few weeks, and this trend looks set to continue throughout 2021.

The price of Bitcoin, which has scarcely stopped rising since the start of 2020, touched yet another high in the last few days, going to $47,000, which is a 45% increase from just the start of 2021 alone. Bitcoin was at around $22,000 in mid-December, and at around $5,000 in March 2020, just to allow people to understand the scale of this rally. The value of the cryptocurrency market in total has risen above $1 trillion for the first time ever, and all of this is being taken as a sign that digital currencies are finally here to stay, as opposed to a similar rally in 2017 which was followed by a crash in 2018, where Bitcoin lost more than half its value in a matter of weeks.

This latest rise above $47,000 has been fuelled largely by Musk’s company Tesla, which recently announced that it had bought $1.5 billion of Bitcoin, and also said that it would begin accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment form imminently. This has sent markets into a tizzy, as it is the latest sign of institutions coming on board the crypto trend, which is again a signal that crypto looks like being the way forward for the world of technology and finance. This is also not the first such announcement by a major firm – PayPal had got on board last year, allowing users to make payments on its platform with cryptocurrencies, while rival payments app Square had announced back in October that it had bought around $50 billion worth of Bitcoin. All of these announcements, coupled with the fact that big investors and hedge funds are also pouring money into the crypto markets, have been one of the biggest reasons for crypto’s rise, especially in the last couple of months. Another factor is the case that various other sectors have begun to see and act on the potential of crypto and blockchain. Blockchain, in particular, has applications in areas as diverse as data storage, shipping, e-commerce and gaming, to name just a few. One of the biggest examples of this is the online gambling space, where more and more operators are beginning to adopt crypto and blockchain. Sites and games that are supported on blockchain are a lot safer, faster and more reliable, while allowing users to place bets in cryptocurrencies has proven to be a huge hit. A bitcoin casino Winz.io has seen a lot more traffic and thus more transactions as a result, and this is just one of multiple such examples in the online gambling space.

The rise of crypto has not just been limited to Bitcoin. Other cryptos, such as Ethereum and Ripple, have also seen significant price increases, and even the joke coin Dogecoin, which is a play on a popular meme featuring a Shiba Inu, has risen by more than 1000% in recent weeks. This has been fuelled by Snoop Doog and Musk’s tweets, where both of them have put out memes on Dogecoin, and even through the GameStop phenomenon earlier this year, where traders on Reddit put the squeeze on institutional investors and hedge funds who had shorted GameStop shares.

Those traders also invested in Dogecoin, and were perhaps egged on by Musk’s tweets, as well as what seems to be his general acceptance of crypto, as seen by him changing his Twitter bio to #bitcoin, which led to yet another rally earlier this year.

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