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The virtual currency climbed suddenly at around 3:30 a.m. ET, adding $5,000 in the space of an hour to trade at $37,299, according to data from industry site CoinDesk. At 8:00 a.m. ET, it extended gains to trade around $37,653.
Musk added #bitcoin to his Twitter bio earlier Friday morning. He also sent out a cryptic tweet, saying: “In retrospect, it was inevitable.”
It adds to the wild volatility in markets this week, as the stock prices of heavily-shorted companies like GameStop and AMC surged dramatically thanks to a rush of amateur investors inspired by the Reddit forum WallStreetBets.
Another subreddit group, SatoshiStreetBets, led investors to pump up the price of Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency inspired by the popular “doge” meme. Dogecoin was up 800% in the last 24 hours at one point.
Bitcoin’s price action had been relatively muted ahead of Friday. The world’s most valuable cryptocurrency hit an all-time high of $41,940 earlier this month before sinking sharply a week later. It briefly fell below the $30,000 mark just last week.
The digital coin is still about 13% off its all-time high but up around 25% since the start of the year. Bitcoin more than quadrupled over the course of 2020, with crypto bulls citing increased institutional investment as a driving force of the