Bitcoin bulls are having a bonanza.

The popular cryptocurrency surged to record highs of more than $40,000 on Thursday, pushing the total value of all bitcoins to over $700 billion. The gains further a greater than 30% gain so far in 2021 and a nearly 400% rise over the past year. 

A digital coin with a bitcoin symbol on it.

Bitcoin's price is booming. Image source: Getty Images.

A wave of institutional capital and new retail offerings have contributed to Bitcoin's ascent.

MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR) began using bitcoin as its primary treasury reserve asset in August. The business intelligence company has since purchased more than 70,000 bitcoins, a stake currently valued at over $2.7 billion. 

Square (NYSE:SQ) has also invested in bitcoin, though on a smaller scale. The fintech leader purchased $50 million of bitcoin in October, which has since grown to more than $180 million. Square has also given users of its popular Cash App the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrency. Its bitcoin-related revenue and gross profit rose by 11 times and 15 times, to $1.63 billion and $32 million, respectively, in the third quarter.

PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) has likewise entered the crypto arena. The digital payments giant gave its more than 360 million users the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrency in October. It also plans to enable its users to make purchases with bitcoin and other digital currencies at its 26 million merchant sites in early 2021. 

Bitcoin bulls, in turn, see many more gains ahead. JPMorgan's analysts said on Tuesday the price of a single bitcoin could rise as high as $146,000 in the coming years as more people begin to embrace the cryptocurrency as a digital store of value akin to gold. 

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