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NEW DELHI: Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency, hit a fresh record high of $48,687.34 on Friday as some of the world’s largest companies such as Twitter, BNY Mellon, and Mastercard have said they were looking to embrace cryptocurrencies.

Microblogging platform Twitter said it was considering paying its employees in bitcoin, while major financial institutions BNY Mellon and Mastercard said they will enter the cryptocurrency business. The Mayor of Miami, US, Francis Suarez, said he was mulling paying municipal workers and collecting taxes in bitcoin.

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These developments come close on the heels of Tesla disclosing, earlier in the week, that it has invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin. Moreover, BlackRock Inc, the world’s biggest asset manager, had last month said it will invest in the cryptocurrency.

"Dogecoin has also been in focus because of Elon Musk calling it people’s crypto, which led to 50% growth in the cryptocurrency and made it to the headlines in no time. With the world's richest man investing in bitcoin, we will witness more such institutional investments coming in the space of cryptocurrency. If that happens, then we will see a further boost in the price movements of various leading cryptocurrencies," said Sumit Gupta, CEO and co-founder, CoinDCX.

Bitcoin rose 6.3% to trade at $47,376.63 on Friday, having moved in the range of $44,556.67-48,687.34 over the past 24 hours, as per data available with cryptocurrency tracker CoinGecko. The digital asset’s earlier record of $48,226.25 was on Tuesday following Tesla’s announcement.

Meanwhile, other major cryptocurrencies such as ether and tether traded marginally higher.

“Around the world, the crypto adoption is picking up. Governments and tech giants around the globe are embracing crypto, and I’m confident that India will not stay behind. The government of India might be on the path to positive crypto regulations," said Nischal Shetty, chief executive officer, WazirX.

Mint has reported that the government plans to make mining, holding, selling, issuing, transferring, and use of cryptocurrency a punishable offence, with a heavy fine or imprisonment or both.

The report citing government sources said a proposed cryptocurrency bill may allow holders of such currencies to exit the asset class before its anticipated ban but may put a heavy penalty on its conversion to a legal asset.

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