Bitcoin blows past $50,000 as dog-themed cryptocurrencies surge

by 24USATVOct. 6, 2021, 10 p.m. 18
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After taking a drubbing last month, cryptocurrencies are enjoying a rebound in October — and dog-themed coins are in particular demand.

Bitcoin on Wednesday surged more than 9 percent and topped $55,000 per coin briefly for the first time in nearly five months. The crypto was last seen exchanging hands at just below $55,000 Wednesday afternoon. It’s now up more than 34 percent over the past week.

Bitcoin’s Wednesday spike was fueled by increasing interest in crypto from banks, according to Anthony Denier, the CEO of stock and crypto trading platform Webull. So far this week, US Bancorp has launched a crypto trading platform and Bank of America has initiated research coverage of crypto.

“More banks are jumping onto the crypto bandwagon due to investor demand, which is fueling Bitcoin’s climb,” said Denier.

The CEO also pointed to comments by Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler, who told Congress Tuesday that he doesn’t plan on banning cryptocurrencies — a possibility that had been a “major overhang” for bitcoin, according to Denier.

Meanwhile, the little-known Shiba Inu coin — named for the cute, furry dog that’s the mascot for Dogecoin — skyrocketed as much as 65 percent at one point Wednesday.

It’s now up more than 230 percent this week, likely buoyed by crypto enthusiast and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s recent tweet about his Shiba Inu puppy named Floki.

Each Shiba Inu coin is still worth only fractions of a penny, but the market cap of the crypto has now reached about $9.5 billion, putting it in the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap, according to Coinbase data.

Elsewhere, Flokinomics, a dogecoin knockoff named after Musk’s dog that started trading on Sunday, spiked 2,400 percent over the past 24 hours to $0.000002254 per coin.

Garrick Hilleman, head of research at Blockchain.com and a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, said traders should be wary of “meme coins” like Shiba Inu and Flokinomics that are boosted by online hype and celebrities.

“The risk on these meme coins is quite high,” Hilleman told The Post. “There’s a real risk that if the celebrity endorser loses interest or the meme-ability gets out-memed by another coin, you’re in trouble.”

The rally was cheered on by vocal supporters of the digital token, including the Winklevoss twins of Facebook fame.

Despite bitcoin’s recent rally, the coin remains almost 18 percent below its all-time peak in April of nearly $65,000 per coin.

Ether also surged more than 5 percent higher Wednesday, trading at more than $3,600 per coin.

Any ban would be up to Congress, SEC Chair Gensler told US lawmakers earlier this week, mirroring comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who said Friday he won’t ban cryptocurrencies.

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