As bitcoin surged to all-time highs Friday, a key announcement from a major U.S.-based digital currency exchange could be a driving factor.
Coinbase said Thursday it is rolling out instant bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin purchases of up to $25,000 from U.S. bank accounts. Previously, customers using their bank accounts to buy the digital currencies had to wait several days to receive them.
“One of the biggest pieces of feedback we get on Coinbase is ‘why does it take so long!'” Coinbase Co-Founder and CEO Brian Armstrong said in a Thursday tweet. “Rolling out instant buys.”
Before this rollout, bitcoin’s price could fluctuate a lot during that waiting time, making it a drawback for the regular investor.
“The Coinbase instant buy program is yet another step toward mainstream acceptance of Bitcoin,” said Brian Kelly, founder of BKCM LLC, a hedge fund managing digital assets, and a CNBC contributor. “This will make Bitcoin easier to use as a transactional currency and could have the effect of increasing liquidity. The added transaction volume should also support the price. “
The company has nearly 11 million customers, according to its website.
TechCrunch reported Thursday that the instant purchase feature rolled out Thursday to about 15,000 Coinbase users and will be available for “all eligible” U.S.-based customers by the end of the year.
Bitcoin has leaped 21 percent within the last 48 hours to a record high of $5,856.10, according to CoinDesk. With those gains, the digital currency has multiplied six times in value this year and has a market value of more than $93 billion. That’s larger than that of Goldman Sachs.