SAN DIEGO – As the price of Bitcoin surges to all-time highs, some are considering buying the popular cryptocurrency for the first time. But is now the right time to jump in?
“We could be in a bubble right now — and that bubble could burst,” San Diego resident Brent Alardia said on Monday.
“No way, I think it could go to $100K easy,” said Paul Fox, another local resident.
The price of the cryptocurrency has nearly quadrupled since October, pushing even higher Monday with the news that the carmaker Tesla purchased $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. Tesla said it soon will accept the digital currency as payment for its vehicles.
“It’s going to open up, I wouldn’t say the flood gates, but other institutions and other companies to say you know what, maybe this is a valid way to accept payment on things,” financial advisor Brett Gottlieb said.
Part of the reason for the price climb is easier access to purchases. In the past, the majority of users had to use a phone application called Coinbase.
Now, people can use PayPal, Robinhood and even Bitcoin ATMs around town.
“We’ve actually had (the ATM) for about two years now,” said Joey Brikho, owner of Party Time Liquor in Mission Valley.
The machine in his store lets people buy Bitcoin and a handful of other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum. And more and more people keep showing up to use the machine, Brikho said.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “They don’t just put in a couple dollars, I can tell you that.”
Investors now have to weigh whether Bitcoin is right for them. The currency, once valued at over $20,000 in 2017, dipped below $4,000 in March of 2020. Now it’s spiked up to about $47,000.
But for those interested in having Bitcoin in a 401K, the SEC isn’t quite ready to allow that yet, Gottlieb said.
“I don’t see it coming in 401K’s anytime soon,” he said.
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