Despite increased competition from other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is still the king. Tech Crunch reports that the online currency has skyrocketed in value soaring past $9,000. The Bitcoin market is now valued at more than $152 billion, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
This rapid growth has put Bitcoin on relatively equal footing with some of the world’s largest companies. There are indeed some issues with comparing Bitcoin to traditional corporations, but it does highlight just how much the cryptocurrency has grown in recent years.
Depending on who you ask, Bitcoin’s status as the most prominent cryptocurrency in the world was never in doubt. It has faced some challenges in 2017, most notably the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, and a recent shuttering of Bitcoin trading in China. But that appears to have done little to stymie Bitcoin’s growth.
At the start of 2017, a single Bitcoin would have cost you just over $1,000 — quite high, actually, considering it was less than half that amount the previous year. But that peak proved to be just the start of the currency’s latest boom, with explosive interest sending it to new heights within months.
If there have been so many problems with the currency this year though, why the latest bubble? Ars believes it could be Bitcoin’s use as a foundation for the initial coin offerings (ICO) of new cryptocurrencies. While buying a new currency with real-world money isn’t easy, Bitcoin’s intrinsic ease of transfer means it’s a great interim medium for transactions with new coins. Buying Bitcoin in order to buy newer coins only serves to drive up its value.
With a myriad of different cryptocurrencies now in use around the world — including one designed exclusively for dentistry — there’s plenty of investment in Bitcoin to be had as a secondary aspect of their ICOs. Anyone who has looked at Bitcoin’s history will expect a bursting of this current bubble, though. Traditionally, Bitcoin value rises amid new interest, reaching new heights only to crash down again shortly after as confidence waivers, before gradually making its way back up again.
Although it’s never a guarantee and great caution should be taken if investing heavily in something as volatile as Bitcoin, its rises and falls in value have become more predictable as time goes on.
Updated on 10-26-2017: Updated to reflect the news that Bitcoin broke the $9,000 mark and has a market value of more than $152 billion.