Set up in 1998, PayPal serves 330 million users in more than 200 countries and regions around the world, supporting online transactions in more than 100 currencies. Credit: Handout

Fueled by the global payments giant PayPal’s announcement that it is launching support for cryptocurrencies, bitcoin rocketed past $13,000 for the first time since July.

The global payments giant tweeted on Wednesday: “Today, we are announcing the launch of a new service that will enable customers to buy, hold and sell #Cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal account.

PayPal is following corporate investors such as MicroStrategy, Square, and Stone Ridge into the world of crypto.

According to Quantum Economics founder Mati Greenspan, Wednesday’s rally was almost entirely driven by PayPal’s decision to support bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that this bit of news is almost solely responsible for today’s extended gains.”

At the time of writing (7.25 am in Hong Kong), bitcoin had corrected down to $12,838, according to CoinMarketCap, after surging over 10% in 24 hours..

In response to the news from PayPal, Alex Mashinsky, CEO of crypto lending platform Celsius, said: “This is definitely a bullish sign for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Crypto is all about trust, and PayPal has a very high level of trust with its users […] If the UI/UX of the service is done right, we will see millions of new users join each month.”

The sudden price surge created a major stir on Twitter.

Crypto YouTuber Lark Davis tweeted: “#bitcoin is over $13,000!!! Holy cow! 20k here we come!

“346 million users, 26 million merchants about to get exposed to #bitcoin#ethereum! Paypal news is the biggest adoption story in the history of #crypto!”

Billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya said banks will soon follow PayPal’s lead: “After PayPal’s news, every major bank is having a meeting about how to support bitcoin. It’s no longer optional…”

Where will bitcoin go from here?

Veteran analyst and TV host Max Keiser, who has been imploring his viewers to buy bitcoin since it was just $1, believes it will face little resistance as it ascends to new all-time highs.

“There is nothing but air between $13K and $19K,” he tweeted.

The bitcoin surge is good news for altcoins as well, according to prominent YouTuber ElioTrades Crypto: “A lot of alts stand to do incredibly well with the increase in the liquidity of bitcoin.”

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