Bitcoin is a type of worldwide payment system that uses cryptocurrency, or digital currency, for peer-to-peer payment. There’s no bank, financial institution, or other centralized entity holding the purse strings. Network nodes verify the transaction and then it’s recorded in the blockchain, which is a public ledger.
In 2015, over 100,000 venders and merchants accepted payment via bitcoin. In 2017, Cambridge University estimated as many as 5.8 million people having a bitcoin wallet, which is how bitcoin is stored.
The 10K milestone was hit on both international and U.S. exchanges, just two days after hitting 9K and eight days after hitting 8K.
TechCrunch reports that this type of bull rally in modern financial markets hasn’t been seen before. Tulips is the only other asset that has come close to such a rapid rise.
The figures: Bitcoin is up 1,258% from last year. Cryptocurrencies are up 2,174% and have a combined total of $316 billion in worth, with Bitcoin representing 54% of the market cap.
Still, without some precedent or method of assigning a valuation to bitcoins, experts are at odds on what to make of what’s happened and what’s yet to come for bitcoin.
One train of thought is that bitcoin is soon to be a trillion dollar industry that’ll go down in technology history next to the invention of the internet. There are even those that predict bitcoin to replace U.S. paper and coin currency and the gold standard.
The opposing train of thought is that bitcoin is nothing more than a huge speculated bubble on the verge of exploding and crashing at any moment.
The everyday Joe however is likely in the middle, meaning not having the first clue how this technology will develop as its assessed as a tradable, liquid asset.
A general consensus of thought among experts, however, is that cryptocurrency is likely in a bubble that will be corrected somehow, at some time. Guesses on when this will happen and to what degree the correction will be is much akin to shooting darts blindfolded.
Wall Street opened over 100 hedge funds centered around cryptocurrency this past year, but institutional investors are still leery. And, the causal investor may not have even heard of bitcoin, much less purchased one.
Whether this is just the beginning of cryptocurrency taking over or not, the 10K milestone this week is sure to have a lot more speculators working overtime.