Bitcoin’s market value reached $1 trillion for the first time, a surge that’s helping cryptocurrency returns far outstrip the performance of more traditional assets like stocks and gold.
The largest digital-asset has added more than $450 billion of value in 2021 to more than $1 trillion, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, which includes Bitcoin and four other coins, has more than doubled.
Speculators, corporate treasurers and institutional investors are thought to have stoked Bitcoin’s volatile ascent. Crypto believers are dueling with skeptics for the dominant narrative around the climb: the former see an asset being embraced for its ability to hedge risks such as inflation, while the latter sense a precarious mania riding atop waves of monetary and fiscal stimulus.
At the same time, the argument has been made that assigning a market capitalization isn’t an accurate representation since Bitcoin isn’t a company or even an asset. Skeptics say without real-world assets that companies possess or government backing like the dollar, all investors are really buying into is faith in the cryptocurrency’s network.