Bitcoin rose above $50,000 for the first time on Tuesday as Wall Street pushed further into record territory on mounting confidence of Covid-19 recovery.
Bitcoin surged to $50,547.70 in midday European trading as an increasing number of corporate heavyweights back the world’s most popular virtual currency.
The price of the cryptocurrency has soared 75 per cent since the start of the year.
Meanwhile, oil held close to 13-month highs on hopes of keen demand amid a severe cold snap in Texas.
European equities eased after soaring the previous day.
Sterling soared to $1.3952, the highest level for nearly three years, before pulling back.
The euro sank to 87.06 pence, the lowest point since May.
A strong pound tends to dent London share prices because it weighs on the profits of dollar-earning multinationals.
Asia’s leading stock markets closed with strong gains and the dollar declined against the euro and yen.
Wall Street came back from a three-day holiday weekend eager to catch up with earlier rallies in Europe and Asia, and all three major indices opened in record territory on Tuesday.
“Sentiment remains supported by the bullish backdrop of positive Covid-19 vaccine rollouts and cases trends, along with highly accommodative fiscal and monetary policies, with expectations of the passage of President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9-trillion relief package remaining elevated,” said analysts at Charles Schwab brokerage.
While Biden’s spending package is widely expected to pass through the Democrat-controlled Congress, analysts have warned it might not be as big as the $1.9 trillion he proposed.
Meanwhile, with Britain and the United States leading the way in rolling out vaccines at the same time as they see a sharp slowdown in new cases and deaths, there are growing calls for governments to lift strict containment measures and get life back to a semblance of normal.
The United States on Sunday reported its lowest daily infection number since October, as Britain easily hit a key target for immunising its highest-risk people.