Today Bitcoin continues to break new records, rising above $10,000 for the first time in its history, according to the CoinMarketCap Index. The world’s most popular cryptocurrency surpassed the historical mark at 11:14 UTC, rapidly bringing new investors in, and becoming more valuable than such giant companies as IBM, McDonald’s, Paypal, Disney, and etc.
At press time, bitcoin is trading at $10,032, while its market capitalization is already more than $167 billion. As bitcoin reaches new highs, the market cap of all digital currencies surged to a record high of over $300 billion yesterday, now making 310 billion.
It seems that Christmas has settled early for all the Bitcoin investors and this is really a historic moment for everyone. Ever since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin has registered unprecedented gains of over 900% in just last one year and is now considered as one of the best investment tools among the global financial corridors. What makes Bitcoin so special in the investor community is that in spite of all the harsh criticism from some of the most powerful minds in the world of finance, it has managed to sustain against all odds.
A major credit for the Bitcoin success is attributed to retail investors who showed absolute confidence in the decentralized network of cryptocurrencies and even forced several giant enterprises and financial institutions to consider developing Bitcoin-based services and investment products. The recent rally, observed over the past month, can be attributed to the announcement by CME Group about Bitcoin futures contract. Following the news, each passing day Bitcoin prices skyrocketed to new record highs with a tremendous increase in trading volumes.
Also, the number of hedge funds that invest in cryptocurrencies has grown tremendously. Only 3 months ago, in August, about 70 new funds were expected to be starting, and now, there are no less than 120 new or modified crypto related funds.
Apart from that, Bitcoin has gained astonishing attention from mainstream media. Not so long ago, news mentioning Bitcoin would surprise if not confuse non-expert average people. Now, major publications mention Bitcoin daily, and no one is thrilled. Bitcoin has become mainstream.
As the result, there has been an increasing shift of investors from stock brokerages to Bitcoin traded exchanges. As per reports, U.S.-based Bitcoin exchange Coinbase, which experienced incredible growth throughout the year as well, is said to have taken over the second largest broker-dealer by assets under management Charles Schwab in the total number of user accounts registered within their systems – Charles Schwab reported 10.6 million active brokerage accounts for October, in contrast with 11.7 million users in October for Coinbase. Widely seen as the easiest way to onboard new users into the crypto world, Coinbase has been registering more than one million unique users per month during the latter half of the year, almost doubling the number of its users in 12 months. Given Bitcoin price’s surge and increasing number of crypto new-comers, Coinbase also managed to become №1 trending Apple App.
In this respect, Bespoke Investment Group wrote in their latest blog post:
“With all the talk about bitcoin, a good deal of people are also starting to open accounts where they can buy and sell crypto-currencies.”
All this surely speaks volumes about the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.
After stabiliizing at about $8000 for some time, Bitcoin prices were inching new highs almost daily smashing through all psychological barriers. Thomas Glucksmann, head of marketing at cryptocurrency exchange Gatecoin, told Bloomberg:
“The weekend’s bitcoin price hike is just the continuation of a long-term bull run on the cryptocurrency, fuelled by the tsunami of speculative trading on Japanese exchanges and the entrance of institutional investors across the world.”
He further added:
“The $10,000 psychological stratosphere will push more institutional investors into the mix.”
This means that there could be more investor money flowing looking to the strong future of the most celebrated cryptocurrency.
Logical enough, Bitcoin continues to maintain a huge transaction volume (which is now over $2 bln) as the price increases. While transactions continue to proliferate, Bitcoin mining has become increasingly profitable as well – today miners make $1.5 mln in fees alone, not including block rewards.
With Bitcoin prices rising at an unprecedented rate, there has been a high demand for Bitcoin-based investment products. As a result, many renowned institutions, both from the bond market and the trading market announced their launch of products and services in the coming year. This is certainly expected to bring even more retail participation in Bitcoin markets. Moreover, the financial institutions are believed to develop services and products in a way which will guarantee more stability in Bitcoin prices and reduce volatility.
Mike Novogratz, a famous investor and creator of the $500 million crypto-hedge-fund, has earlier predicted Bitcoin touching $10,000 by the year-end. Now that Bitcoin has already achieved this goal, Mike believes that the token is far more bullish predicting that Bitcoin could possibly touch $40,000 by the end of 2018. By the way, Mike’s predictions for Bitcoins have turned out to be true so far.
All in all, given a huge surge in retail investor participation, anything and everything is possible in times to come.