Bitcoin smashes through $51,000 to hit a new all-time high

Bitcoin continued to climb Wednesday, surging above the $51,000 level for the first time.The red-hot cryptocurrency hit a fresh record price of $51,715 at around 4:50 a.m. ET, according to data from Coin Metrics. It was last trading over 5% higher at $51,222.Bitcoin was created in 2009, not long after the global financial crisis. It has gone from a protest against the banking system to something of a "digital gold" that is beginning to catch on with mainstream investors.On Wall Street, major investment banks appear to be warming to bitcoin. JPMorgan recently said it's looking seriously at the asset class, while Goldman Sachs has also shown an interest in crypto. Meanwhile, a division of Morgan Stanley is reportedly considering adding bitcoin to its list of possible bets.Meanwhile, companies like PayPal and Mastercard have made significant moves to support cryptocurrencies. And Tesla last week said it had invested $1.5 billion into…

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