Against all odds, bitcoin just made history.

Today, December 16th, the cryptocurrency unequivocally smashed through all time highs, exchanging hands at $20,700 before cooling off.

Bitcoin breached the $20,000 level for the first time in history on Wednesday (14:30 UTC+1), as crypto enthusiasts pointed to soaring demand from institutional investors for the go-to inflationary hedge on the planet.

The world’s most-valuable virtual currency traded 6% higher to a price of around $20,770, per TradingView data, taking its year-to-date gains to more than 185%.

Bitcoin has been on a rampage this year.

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Big name investors such as Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller quickly turned bitcoin into the a red-hot must-have asset, while tech firms such as Square and MicroStrategy have flocked into the bitcoin trade.

If history is a guide, this is only the start of an exuberant run that will pale in comparison to 2017.

Meanwhile, the US Dollar’s DXY index is testing levels not seen since 2018 as infinite cash handouts take a toll on Fiat’s purchasing power.

Bitcoin’s record high has reminded many market watchers of its monster rally to nearly $20,000 in 2017. That was followed by a sharp pullback the following year that saw it trade at $3,000.

Wall Street leaps in

Major firms on Wall Street like S&P Global and Cboe Global Markets have made inroads into the cryptocurrency data services sector, and are expected to reveal various products in 2021. According to CNBC, the S&P Dow Jones Indices announced plans to launch crypto indices in 2021, while Cboe has tapped into New-York based software trading firm Coinroutes for market data capabilities.

Yesterday, UK asset manager Ruffer updated clients about a “new allocation” to bitcoin, revealing that 2.5% of its portfolio is now in bitcoin.

We see this as a small but potent insurance policy against the continuing devaluation of the world’s major currencies,” the company said.

Bitcoin diversifies the company’s (much larger) investments in gold and inflation-linked bonds, and acts as a hedge to some of the monetary and market risks that we see.

Ruffer managed around £20.3 billion ($27.4 billion) in assets by the end of November.

The bitcoin halving weighs in

As reported in early September, bitcoin could be on track to reaching $41,000 by the year’s end, as forecast by data aggregator Ecoinometrics.

Technically, that’s only a 2x from $20,000 and is not outside the realm of possibility given bitcoin’s history. Indeed, the bitcoin halving in May slashed the daily supply of bitcoin in half and since then, institutional demand has continued to increase exponentially.

After the 2016 halving event, bitcoin increased by over 3200% in the span of a year. Since the last halving in May, bitcoin gained 130%. If history is to repeat itself, bitcoin could be trading above $300,000 by this time next year.

The race is on.

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