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April 14, 2021

Bitcoin breached the $64,000 level for the first time as investor demand for all things crypto surged amid Coinbase Global Inc.’s public debut.

 The direct listing of the biggest U.S. crypto exchange is seen pushing tokens even more into the mainstream of investing, exposing legions of potential buyers to the digital asset class that have grown into a $2 trillion industry in little more than a decade. Bitcoin, the original and biggest crypto coin, is valued at more than $1 trillion alone after a more than 800% surge in the past year.

If Coinbase is valued at $100 billion as expected, it would be worth more than the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market combined. Given its size and visibility, Coinbase is likely to be popular with actively managed equity funds, particularly growth managers, essentially making a large swath of stock holders passive investors in crypto.

 “It’s a huge step forward for the industry and the legitimacy it brings in the eyes of investors and regulators,” Mati Greenspan, founder of Quantum Economics, said on Bloomberg TV.

Growing mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies has spurred Bitcoin to a 120% rally since December, as well as lifting other tokens to record highs. That’s despite lingering concerns over their volatility and usefulness as a method of payment. Attention from regulators is poised to intensify as Coinbase becomes a public company.

“As the direct listing on the Nasdaq will reach a wider investment base other than the usual crypto evangelists, investors must expect much greater government scrutiny,” said Nigel Green, CEO and founder of deVere Group.

The token was volatile during the morning, climbing as much as 2.7% to $64,869. It has risen for seven straight sessions, its longest winning streak since the start of the year. Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency, also climbed to a record. Bitcoin Cash jumped more than 10%.