The Strategist

Bitcoin's market cap reached all-time peak

12/23/2016 - 14:02

Yesterday, Bitcoin’s quotes broke the mark of $ 870, which was the highest rate in nearly three years. Market capitalization of the digital cryptocurrency reached a historic high of $ 14.06 billion.

BTC Keychain
BTC Keychain
Bitcoin is regaining its former glory. Quotes of the digital currency have gradually grown the past few months, and reached the mark of $ 875 per BTC yesterday. This is a historic event for cryptocurrency. Firstly, its price peaked in January, 2014. Secondly, yesterday's surge of quotations allowed Bitcoin to achieve a record market capitalization of $ 14.06 bln. Maximum price of the cryptocurrency was recorded on December 4, 2013, when one Bitcoin was worth about $ 1165, and capitalization reached $ 13.95 bln. While current price for per BTC is almost $ 300 lower than the 2013 peak, level of capitalization of the digital currency is higher due to much larger volume of coins released up to date.

Traditionally, Bitcoin gains popularity in those moments when the world economy is experiencing problems, or the investors become concerns about its stability in the future. In 2013, the upsurge of the digital currency’s quotations was triggered by a banking crisis in Europe. In particular, price of Bitcoin was influenced by problems of Cypriot banks. In the middle of this year, the cryptocurrency rose in price in connection with the Brexit referendum, and the UK’s decision to revoke its membership in the EU. This autumn, Bitcoin jumped thanks to the presidential race in the US and, eventually, was lifted by victory of Donald Trump. At the same time, problems of the Chinese economy and weakening renminbi have long been fundamentals factor in Bitcoin’s growth rates. Most of transactions with Bitcoin takes place in China, and any surge in demand for digital currency in the country immediately raises its price.

However, despite the fact that bitcoin may become a temporary refuge for investors in tough economic times, the digital currency cannot be not justified as a long-term saving resource. Over the years, it has experienced a sharp rise up to $ 1,200 per BTC, and subsequent fall to the level of just above $ 200. On the other hand, if we look at Bitcoins’ quotes over the past year and a half, the currency’s stable growth becomes obvious. As CoinDesk’s report "State of Bitcoin and Blockchain 2016" says, the cryptocurrency’s fluctuations in the first quarter of the year reached the minimum values for the last two years. Above all, Bitcoin is a technology, not money or a store of value, so movement of its quotations in the long term can be linked to development of any technology. Considering Gartner’s Hype Cycle a possible predictor of Bitcoin’s future, it is possible to conclude that rate of the digital currency has fully correlated with timing of maturity of technologies. This means that now Bitcoin, perhaps, is heading to so-called "Plateau of Productivity", i.e. a period of stabilization associated with introduction and mass adoption of the technology. In this case, this is the "block chain" technology that underlies Bitcoin.