The Price for a Single Bitcoin Surpasses $50K for the First Time — Here’s What You Need to Know

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Jason Duaine Hahn
·3 min read
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Move over GameStop, Bitcoin is the hottest thing to have these days.

On Tuesday morning, Bitcoin's market value hit $50,602.53 for the first time in its history as a growing number of companies have voiced their support for it, according to CNBC. While Bitcoin's value fell to about $48,467 by the afternoon, it was still a milestone day for the popular cryptocurrency.

Earlier this month, Elon Musk's Tesla announced it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and would be allowing customers to purchase vehicles with the digital currency.

The boost from the electric car manufacturer was also supported by companies like Mastercard, PayPal and BNY Mellon, which have recently opened their services to accepting bitcoin, the outlet said.

"I do at this point think Bitcoin is a good thing. I'm late to the party, but I am a supporter of bitcoin," Musk — who briefly became the world's wealthiest person in November — recently said on the audio chat app, Clubhouse, CNN reported.

"I think [Bitcoin] is on the verge of getting broad acceptance by conventional finance people," the 49-year-old added.

So what exactly is Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, anyway?

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Jeff Vespa/WireImage Elon Musk

According to CNN, Bitcoin was created in 2009 by an unknown person or group using the name "Satoshi Nakamoto." It's labeled as a "cryptocurrency," which allows products to be purchased semi-anonymously, which also makes it a popular way to buy illegal goods online.

Bitcoin — and other cryptocurrencies like Litecoin and Dogecoin — isn't tied to a country and is nearly completely digital, making it different than other major currencies, like the U.S. dollar. There is no central body or person that "owns" the bitcoin network.

But outside of its purchasing power, people have collected Bitcoin in the hopes it would increase in value, and as Tuesday showed, that has largely been the case as of late.

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"With Bitcoin breaking $50,000 a coin, I believe we're reaching an inflection point where Bitcoin is essentially becoming the reserve currency of the internet," Sergey Nazarov, co-founder of Chainlink, recently told FOX Business.

According to BBC, there are three ways to get Bitcoin for yourself: buying bitcoin with traditional currencies, accepting bitcoin as payment for a product and "mining" the coin using computers.

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In order to keep the Bitcoin economy working, people can set up computers to help process transactions. Every once in a while, the network will toss a bitcoin to the user in exchange for the service, which is known as mining.

While bitcoin is making mainstream progress, there are still many companies that aren't ready to embrace cryptocurrency. AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson recently told Yahoo Finance that his dealerships would not be accepting Bitcoin anytime soon.

"I am absolutely astounded and amazed at what Bitcoin is worth today," he said. "I don't know where it's going and what it all means."

"So I can't help there, other than to say look what I do," Jackson continued. "I don't anticipate us [AutoNation] accepting Bitcoin, and we really haven't had hardly any customers suggest that we accept bitcoin. So we are good with the U.S. currency."