The rise and rise of bitcoin has continued unabated, as the world’s largest cryptocurrency has continued to hit new heights. Long touted as a target for the end of 2017, bitcoin burst through the $10,000 mark for the first time today. At the time of writing, bitcoin had risen to $10,850, with investors buoyed by the increasing appetite for cryptocurrency investments worldwide.
The news will be seen as a vindication for some commentators, after earlier predictions of a $10,000 bitcoin were met with skepticism and disbelief. However, with the landmark $10,000 mark now breached, analysts are turning their attention to the next significant milestone.
This year has seen major developments for bitcoin so far, as the market has continued to mature. Despite doubt and criticism from vocal opponents of the technology, bitcoin prices have risen from around $1,000 at the start of the year, reflecting a growth of over 1000%, with no sign of a halt in its meteoric price rise.
One of the most notable critics, JP Morgan executive Jamie Dimon even went so far as to label bitcoin a ‘fraud’, only for JP Morgan to subsequently open up bitcoin and cryptocurrency asset trading to their clients for the first time in recent weeks.
While the trend in bitcoin price has been unmistakably upwards, it hasn’t been all plain sailing. The currency still suffers from significant volatility compared to fiat currencies, and as a result, prices can still swing violently up or down in response to changing market circumstances.
As recently as last week, bitcoin broke through $9,000 for the first time, following the elimination of uncertainty surrounding the latest hard fork. Much of the growth has been fueled by activity on exchanges in South Korea, where bitcoin has been trading ahead of the international market average for a number of days.
Similarly, in Zimbabwe, severe economic and political unrest has driven more investors and exporters to switch to bitcoin, driving prices and volume up considerably there.
As recently as the middle of September, bitcoin prices were down as low as $3,000. In a matter of weeks, the rise to present values has seen growth in excess of 230%, with that figure continuing to climb as bitcoin rises further still.