Bitcoin calms after hitting all-time high


Bitcoin’s frenzied rally lost momentum on Tuesday after prices hit a new all-time high of $48,000.

The cryptocurrency pulled back in the early U.S. hours, trading up 2.9% on the day around $46,000.

Prices are still up more than 30% since the beginning of February.

While the trading action was calmer, there’s still a fierce debate over whether Tesla’s $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin will lead to other companies following suit.

While crypto acolytes have been saying for some time that corporate adoption is imminent, in reality it had been limited to firms such as MicroStrategy Inc. and Square Inc.

While Tesla’s investment makes up about 8% of its most recent cash reserves, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the holdings of America’s blue-chip corporates. The purchase is worth just 0.05% of the $2.79 trillion of cash and cash-equivalents held on the balance sheets of S&P 500 members, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

And while Tesla announced plans to accept Bitcoin for purchases, hardly anyone uses the cryptocurrency for anything beyond speculation. Data from New York-based blockchain researcher Chainalysis Inc. showed that only 1.3% of economic transactions came from merchants in the first four months of 2019.