Is this time different for Bitcoin?

Bitcoin prices have shot up almost 50% from US$12k to US$18k in the last month. Taking it back to the lofty, bubble levels of two years ago, with a market capitalisation of over US$330 billion. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Bitcoin prices fell off a cliff like everything else, but since then, the cryptocurrency has steadily rallied.

Having moved beyond being an obscure, niche investment, Bitcoin now has the attention of major institutional investors. Mega-players like PayPal have entered the crypto-market, announcing that users in the US can buy and sell Bitcoin and several other digital currencies on the platform.

Earlier this year, even long-time sceptics JPMorgan, touted bitcoin as an alternative investment to gold among millennials, not before revealing that it had set up a dedicated crypto unit and its own cryptocurrency, JPM Coin, now used commercially.

Unsurprisingly, industry players are convinced this time around will be different and are quick to highlight the glossy justifications for Bitcoin as an alternative asset class.

With Bitcoin's previous rally in 2017, the currency's dizzying valuation was short-lived, dropping 70% within months of its peak, new investors will certainly be hoping this time will be different.