Crypto enthusiasts have probably been anticipating Bitcoin’s global interest and adoption for some time now, and 2017 seems to be the year for that to happen. January saw the currency trading at $1k, while the last two weeks saw it jump from $10k to $14k and then to $18k. Some exchanges even reported Bitcoin’s price breaking the $20k barrier. Its market cap of over $300 billion last week even surpassed that of Visa.
There are a few reasons for these amazing increases, one of them being an increase of buyers desperate to purchase their own Bitcoin in the hope that the currency will grow even more in the future. Support for the currency comes in the form of integration in the mainstream financial industry. Nowadays it is becoming more common, with CBOE obtaining the bragging rights for launching the first Bitcoin futures contracts. CME is running a close second, and Nasdaq will be releasing theirs next year.
Big names are displaying an interest in Bitcoin and in virtual currencies in general. But individual investors are also keen to get in on the action. Last year Korea wasn’t interested in the crypto industry, while 2017 saw the country do a the complete opossite. Many exchanges in the country even have storefronts to help these new potential investors. Japan has also embraced crypto by passing legislation that, in essence, legalizes Bitcoin and allows exchanges to obtain licenses. This has resulted in an increase in interested investors. Coinbase is where it’s at for small-scale US investors. However, the online platform has been struggling to keep up with the influx of new members, likely due to the price increases of Bitcoin.
Most people are wondering if Bitcoin will maintain this upward trend. The hedge fund guru Michael Novogratz says that bitcoin could trade as high as $50k next year. We’ll just have to buckle up and HODL because the Bitcoin train is showing no sign of slowing down.