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A physical imitation of a Bitcoin in Istanbul in December 2020. Photo: Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty Images

Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency, continued to rally into the new year by surpassing $30,000 for the first time on Saturday, according to Bloomberg.

Why it matters: The new milestone comes just after the currency breached $20,000 for the first time in December — a massive rebound from its severe crash in March at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Flashback: The value of a Bitcoin broke $15,000 in November after the Justice Department seized about $1 billion worth of the cryptocurrency from an online criminal marketplace.

What they're saying: Bitcoin could reach $50,000 as soon as the first half of 2021, according to Antoni Trenchev, managing partner and co-founder of Nexo, which claims to be the world’s biggest crypto lender.

  • Scott Minerd, chief investment officer of Guggenheim Investments, told Bloomberg in a Dec. 16 interview that Bitcoin could reach $400,000.

Go deeper

First look: Bloomberg to hold contest for cities to address pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Mike Bloomberg is staging a global competition that asks mayors to describe nimble responses to the pandemic in their cities, with 15 winners receiving $1 million grants.

Why it matters: Urban areas around the world have been the hardest hit by COVID-19, and by pinpointing approaches that have worked particularly well — or that have the potential to do so —  Bloomberg Philanthropies hopes to foster long-lasting societal improvement.

Air quality alerts issued as California fires threaten more sequoias

The Windy Fire blazes through the Long Meadow Grove of giant sequoia trees near the Trail of 100 Giants in Sequoia National Forest, near California Hot Springs, on Tuesday. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Two wildfires were threatening California's sequoia trees over overnight, hours after authorities issued fresh evacuation orders and warnings, along with air quality alerts on Wednesday.

The big picture: Officials in the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley issued air quality alerts as smoke from the Windy and KNP Complex fires resulted in hazy, "ash-filled" skies from Fresno to Tulare, the Los Angeles Times notes.

Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.