Bitcoin has seen tremendous growth in value this past year, rising from $963.06 in Q4 of 2016 almost the amount it was worth last year. And as of July 2017, there were 16.5m bitcoins in circulation. According to :
An average of 287,000 bitcoin transactions are made a day at $0.62 each, filling 92% of block capacity
This year, bitcoin’s price reached an all-time high, surpassing a $20bn market cap
Bitcoin has been widely adopted and is
in over 60 countries worldwide, from emerging markets such as Nigeria and Estonia, to the USA and Denmark
Events Affecting the Price of Bitcoin
As bitcoin started becoming more established in 2013, increased by almost 10,000%. That was before the collapse of Mt Gox, the largest bitcoin exchange online, which resulted in a of the cryptocurrency.
So, what else has led to the fluctuating price?
Blockchain’s new split
In March this year, the bitcoin price decreased dramatically due to the crypto-community becoming fearful of a hard fork a drastic change in protocol which would make previously invalid blocks and transactions valid, and vice versa. More importantly, this would have led to two blockchains forming, two separate cryptocurrencies. But, a similar event emerged for litecoin, which proved that a ‘soft-fork’ wouldn’t be as disruptive for the cryptocurrency. From a trading value of $964 in April growing to $2,476 in June, the bitcoin 4 value had bounced back.
Bitcoin gold: On 25 October the was launched by Jack Liaos of block 491,407 on the bitcoin blockchain, a new protocol will be launched, resulting in a variant called bitcoin gold (BTG). The two goals of bitcoin gold are
1) to change how mining works so users have mining power
2) to free the bitcoin network from the large organisations that offer these products and who influence the network
Movements in regulating and investing in cryptocurrencies
Following a proposal to allow digital currencies to be traded like stocks, the price of bitcoin grew in value.
Even though the proposal had been unsuccessful, similar movements like the ETF proposed by Facebook-investor twins, the Winklevoss’, will continue to
affect the value
Japan legalising the trade of bitcoin has also led to a surge in bitcoin adoption, with a
of bitcoin reportedly being bought with yen.
Of course, as an increasing number of large businesses and institutions now
and other cryptocurrencies, more people are encouraged to use non-fiat money, ushering the continued growth of bitcoin.
Developments of Other Cryptocurrencies Affecting Bitcoin
In April, the technology that sustains litecoin, saw a change in the code behind the
SegWit allows the speed to increase for transactions using litecoin.This development has resulted in the cryptocurrency community becoming hopeful that bitcoin will see similar progress.
- Ethereum went from trading at $8.00 in January this year to $407.10 in June, leaving many people cautious about bitcoin’s future. With ability to create smart contracts (an agreement using software that executes rules in code), the ‘ most secure public blockchain in all existence ’ led to ether users feeling more trust and security compared to bitcoin. Its many popular uses include it being relied upon for investment purposes, contributing to the spike in value and use.
Powerhouses joining or dropping out ofthe game
Mike Hearn, the ex-Google developer who was majorly involved in the bitcoin community and projects associated with the cryptocurrency in its early stages, published a public blog post that announced that bitcoin had failed, adding that he would "no longer be taking part in bitcoin development". No more than 24 hours after publishing, the over $50 USD. The market seemed to have proven him wrong though, as bitcoin’s value continued growing one month later, going from a trading value of $775 publishing to $1,083 just one month later.
Is Now a Good Time to Invest?
From the trust that goes with bitcoin, its millions of active users, many ways to spend it, the hefty investments made by large corporations, and the growing regulation of the decentralised currency, users are continuing to use and invest in bitcoin.
In fact, when it comes to investing in blockchain technology, the outlook is very positive. Participants in recent Juniper were asked about their levels of investment in blockchain, and this two-thirds (67%) said theyinvested more than $100,000 by the end of 2016
91% said they would be spending at least the same amount in 2017
All research points to the fact that the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is set to grow, with wide adoption in countries around the globe.