Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin soars above $35,000, hitting new high

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Key Points
  • The price of bitcoin rallied above $35,000 Tuesday night, hitting an intraday high of $35,821, according to Coin Metrics data.
  • Bitcoin's latest all-time high comes after a sharp slump Monday and builds on a more than 300% surge in 2020.
In this photo illustration, visual representations of the digital cryptocurrency, Bitcoin are arranged on January 4, 2021 in Katwijk, Netherlands.
Yuriko Nakao | Getty Images

Bitcoin soared on Wednesday to touch a fresh all-time high, as the cryptocurrency continued trading wildly.

The price of bitcoin rallied above $35,000 Tuesday night, hitting an intraday high of $35,821, according to data from Coin Metrics. It pared gains slightly Wednesday morning, trading 2% higher at around $34,625.

Bitcoin's latest all-time high comes just days after it slumped more than 10% to $29,316. That followed a more than 300% jump in 2020 to levels above $29,000.

On Monday, JPMorgan published a note with a bold long-term price target for bitcoin, claiming the cryptocurrency could soar to as high as $146,000 as it competes with gold as an "alternative" currency. The precious metal also saw sizable gains in 2020, with spot gold rising about 25% for the year.

Anthony Scaramucci, founder and co-managing partner of SkyBridge Capital, also told CNBC's "Capital Connection" on Wednesday that his firm is "quite bullish" on bitcoin's store of value and sees it "replacing" gold.

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Scaramucci, a former White House communications director, added that Democratic control of Congress would be "great" for cryptocurrencies due to expectations of "tremendous" money printing under a federal government controlled by the party.

JPMorgan's strategists, however, said that bitcoin will need to become substantially less volatile before it can match gold in terms of market value. The price of the cryptocurrency is known to go through wild swings.

The U.S. investing banking giant's call was notable given CEO Jamie Dimon's past comments on bitcoin. Dimon once called the cryptocurrency a "fraud." 

Meanwhile, PwC's global cryto leader Henri Arslanian told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia" on Monday that the recent surge in bitcoin to record levels was in part driven by the entry of larger, institutional investors into the market.

Bitcoin bulls have hailed the virtual currency as an inflation hedge similar to gold in the face of unprecedented government stimulus aimed at tackling the coronavirus pandemic. Skeptics see it as a speculative asset with no intrinsic value and a market bubble that is likely to burst at some point.

— CNBC's Ryan Browne, Saheli Roy Choudhury and Yen Nee Lee contributed to this report.