n early February, the digital currency bitcoin hit a startling milestone when its price surpassed $1,000 for the first time ever. That seems awfully quaint now that the world’s largest cryptocurrency has added another zero to the end of its price and shows no signs of stopping its rise.
Bitcoin’s BTCUSD, -2.51% rise has been meteoric, and while investors in the first half of the year were marveling at how quickly it was breaking through $100 milestones, they now stare agape as $1,000 markers fall by the wayside. It hit $5,000 in October, followed by $6,000 later that month. The $7,000 threshold had to wait until early November, but then $8,000 fell a couple of weeks later, followed by $9,000 a few days later, and then $10,000 before you could even catch your breath, clearly, everyone wants to learn how to buy bitcoin now.
It is currently trading at $15,905.04, up 16% on the day, having gained more than 1,500% in 2017 alone. It hit a record of $16,615.94 earlier in the day. No wonder Stephen Roach, a professor at Yale and a former economist at Morgan Stanley, said that “bitcoin is the most vertical of any pattern I’ve ever seen in my career.”
Obviously, each successive $1,000 rise is a smaller accomplishment on a percentage basis (to get to $13,000 from $12,000 requires an 8.3% rise, compared with the 9.1% move required to get from $11,000 to $12,000), but it does illustrate just how quickly the digital currency has been rising this year. It has moved so fast that we are barely able to fit all the milestones onto this whopper of a chart (which has been updated many, many times this year).
stats that should do it:
• A year ago, bitcoin was trading at about $763.90, meaning it has enjoyed a 12-month gain of nearly 2,000%.
• With its year-to-date rise, bitcoin now has a market capitalization of about $278.8 billion, according to the pricing website CoinMarketCap. It first cracked $100 billion in just October, meaning it has nearly tripled in a matter of weeks.
• At its current size, bitcoin is bigger than all but 12 of the components of the S&P 500 SPX, +0.12%. In the past month alone, it has surpassed such iconic brands as Walt Disney Co. DIS, +1.46%, General Electric Co. GE, +7.09%, Coca-Cola Co. KO, +0.84%, and Home Depot HD, +0.45%. In the past couple of days, it has eclipsed Procter & Gamble Co. PG, -2.27% , Visa Inc. V, -0.09% and Chevron Corp. CVX, -1.07%. Of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.41%, only six are larger than bitcoin.