Value of all bitcoins in circulation soars to $14bn

23 Dec 2016

Image: Tom Stepanov/Shutterstock

With a single bitcoin valued at $875, the value of the pioneering cryptocurrency has doubled in the past year.

While many claim 2016 to be one of the worst years ever, with very little parameters to measure it by, bitcoin has had an impressive 12 months.

One single bitcoin reached a value of $874 yesterday (22 December), bringing total valuation of all bitcoins in circulation to a record $14bn.

It’s not the most a single bitcoin has been valued at before. In 2013, it was valued at $1,165 – though as new bitcoins are added all the time, yesterday’s valuation broke the overall record.

The surge has come about quite organically, as general cryptocurrency adoption continues to rise. The infrastructure is improving, too, as more and more financial institutions embrace what appears to be the future of finance.

Also, general instability in traditional markets is having an effect.

“You’re talking about the eurozone fracturing, you’re talking about the Chinese yuan devaluation, you’re talking about Trump’s curveballs,” said Charles Hayter, founder and CEO of CryptoCompare.

Hayter also pointed out the surprise demonetisation that occurred in India earlier this year, throwing more people into the digital currency market.

“Terrorist attacks in Europe boosted haven demand in capital markets, and gold has been falling since Trump was elected,” said Le Xiaotian, an analyst at Huobi, a Chinese exchange.

“Global instability has to a large extent directed funds to the bitcoin market.”

John Kennedy recently predicted a fine 2017 for the cryptocurrency, saying blockchain in general is set to explode.

Kennedy pointed out how London has hundreds of start-ups in districts like Shoreditch – or Silicon Roundabout, as it is known – who are cleverly creating start-ups centred on blockchain technology to develop future financial services.

This is mirrored all over the world.

“I would argue that judging by the speed of the evolution of blockchain technology, any course for Leaving Cert will also need to include a component on blockchain, because it could be the bedrock of a whole slew of services beyond finance. And this requires skills,” he said.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic