Have you checked out the price of bitcoin today?
If you skimmed through any financial news recently, the answer is likely yes.
The once-obscure asset with an even more obscure name is making mainstream headlines across the world. It even garnered top spot honours on Bloomberg’s home page.
The digital currency is within a whisker of breaching US$10,000. At time of writing, one bitcoin is trading for US$9,949.97 (AU$13,081.74).
According to data from CoinMarketCap.com, that pushes bitcoin’s market cap up to around US$161 billion.
It all makes 12 November seem so long ago. That’s when bitcoin plunged around 25% to bottom out at US$5,857. That brought out the naysayers in droves. The end of bitcoin was here. Sell now!
We hope you didn’t take their advice. Bitcoin has now gained over 68% in the past 17 days.
With the recent surge in prices, the total value of all cryptocurrencies now stands slightly over US$300 billion.
To put the pace of growth of these numbers into perspective, the total value of all cryptocurrencies first exceeded US$100 billion in June…this year. And it crossed the US$200 billion threshold just this month, on 3 November.
Ether, the second biggest crypto, also hit a new record Monday, peaking at US$493.27. It’s currently slipped a touch to US$475.03, giving it a market cap of roughly US$46 billion.
Any guesses what the price of one ether was this time last year?
90 US cents.
That’s right. If you’d invested $1 in ether on 28 November 2016, you’d be sitting on $528 today.
If you’d been a bit braver and invested $1,000, you’d now have $528,000. That’s life-changing wealth. And all from simply buying and holding what is now one of the core cryptos. Though, of course, it was still a humble newcomer way back then…one whole year ago.
Of course, there are no guarantees these kinds of gains will be repeated. Cryptocurrencies remain notoriously risky.
Kind of makes you wish you had a time machine, doesn’t it?