City firm Ruffer banks $750m profit from Bitcoin bet

Wild price swings have been a hallmark of the cryptocoin, which soared to record highs at the start of the year, as the above chart shows.

Today its sterling price stands at around £25,000 a coin, double the price in the middle of November last year when Ruffer staked its bet.

The first Bitcoin craze came in 2017 when its price shot up to around £15,000 per coin from less than £1,000, but ended swiftly in 2018, with its value falling more than 80pc.

“We have been following Bitcoin’s rise for a few years. Back in 2017 we were very sceptical and I remember laughing in meetings at it all at the time. But in 2020 everything has changed – the economic environment for Bitcoin right now could not be better,� Mr MacInness said.

“We are seeing negative interest rates and bond yields everywhere. We have seen the war on cash ramping up because of the pandemic. At the same time, everything is going digital – our lives are far more digital than a year ago.

“There are now proper regulated institutions buying in too. People are desperate for alternative safe haven assets and Bitcoin is like a digital gold. 

“We are at the foothills of a long upward trend in its institutionalisation,� he added.

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