The bitcoin bubble continues to soar as it breaks the $4,000 mark and grows in value by $15bn in the space of a week.
The meteoric rise of bitcoin from a fringe, online cryptocurrency, to one that has captivated and intrigued the public’s attention cannot be understated.
In the space of less than a week, bitcoin has gone from a then record price of $3,400 for a single bitcoin, to $4,321, at the time of writing.
According to CNBC, during this time, the sheer interest in bitcoin has seen it add more than $15bn in market capitalisation – or, to put it into further perspective, it has increased by more than 320pc in the space of a year.
Predictions rapidly changing
The rapid rise of bitcoin’s price is now testing previous estimates by cryptocurrency analyst Ronnie Moas, who previously predicted it would hit the $5,000 mark by 2018.
Now, Moas has revised the prediction to say that by next year, it could hit the $7,500 mark, and, by 2027, bitcoin will reach as high as $50,000 if it continues unabated.
“It looks to me as though we are at the same point in the adoption curve as we were in 1995 when we went from 1m internet users to 10m,” Moas said to clients in a blog post.
“The following year, the Netscape browser came online and we went from 10m users to hundreds of millions of users overnight.”
He added: “I expect that within a couple of years, we will have between 50m and 100m cryptocurrency users – up from approximately 10m today.”
A floodgate opens
Much of the interest in bitcoin has grown since its hard forking on 1 August into two distinct currencies: bitcoin and bitcoin cash.
The splitting of the cryptocurrency occurred following months of debate over how it could keep up with demand in the years to come, with the previous blockchain technology limited to just seven transactions per second.
Both currencies proposed different methods of expanding their technological powers and, since the split, the original bitcoin has flourished, whereas bitcoin cash currently stands as an outsider with a fraction of the value of its older sibling.
Also believed to be driving the price is the current tensions between North Korea and the US, with reports that bitcoin ownership in South Korea and Japan has skyrocketed following recent sabre-rattling between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US president Donald Trump.
Moas believes that this surge in price is a sign that the “floodgates are opening” for investors.
“I believe there are hedge funds and very deep-pocketed individuals going into this now, really hundreds of millions of dollars.”