Thursday saw an all-time high for bitcoin, setting a new record at $5316.86 at the time of writing. This year has seen regular growth for this form of cryptocurrency, with the previous all-time high hitting on September 2nd, at $5231.28. As of today, bitcoin price has shown a 424% increase for 2017 to date and a 750% increase in the past year.
Bitcoin started the year at $966 and is now worth more than four times the price of an ounce of gold. This record growth is attributed to the increase of interest shown by investors in cryptocurrency, whose total market cap has risen higher than $160 billion for the first time since early September.
China’s banning of exchanges with cryptocurrency in September has caused caution for some, but most investors do not appear to be concerned. There have been new reports released this week stating that bitcoin trading in China may resume with stricter regulations.
Russia is also working on regulation of the use of cryptocurrency, with President Vladimir Putin warning of “serious risks”. He tempered his warning with a refusal to throw up “too many barriers”, which may have helped bitcoin reach its high today.
Even with the calls for regulation, cryptocurrency is gaining traction as a common currency, with even some property developers in London accepting rent payments from tenants through bitcoin. The Japanese government announced on September 29 that it was implementing regulations that would recognize bitcoin as an accepted payment method.
Differing predictions come from economists, with some warning of a price bubble. Harvard professor of economics and public policy Kenneth Rogoff stated that while he predicts that cryptocurrency and its technology will continue to grow, the bitcoin itself could collapse.
This high was not unexpected, as the growth of bitcoin has been at more than $4800 this week, but marks a major achievement.