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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.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 mins ago - Economy & Business

Charted: GOP surged as Biden slumped

Expand chart
Reproduced from Gallup. (Independents were asked their party leaning.) Chart: Axios Visuals

Gallup polling found a huge shift in party preference over the course of 2021, from a 9-point Democratic advantage in the first quarter to a 5-point Republican edge in the fourth quarter.

Why it matters: It's the biggest swing in one calendar year for Gallup's 30 years of tracking.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
23 mins ago - Science

A new NASA astronaut corps for the next era in space

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NASA's next crewed missions to the Moon will need a larger, differently-trained and multi-skilled astronaut corps to deliver on the agency's ambitions.

Why it matters: NASA has plans to fly astronauts to the surface of the Moon in 2025 and ultimately establish a long-term presence there. That goal requires a robust corps with new, specialized training in what it takes to live and work on the Moon — and NASA needs to start planning now.