Cryptocurrency started approaching $1,000 last week, when its price surpassed a $900 mark. On Wednesday, the value hit $954, following a decline to $864 on Christmas Day. At the time of writing, the digital currency traded at a price of $968.44 per coin, according to data from Coin Market Cap.
Over the last month, bitcoin price increased by more than 30%, rising from over $730 to as much as $975. In general, its value has climb around 120% since the start of the year with the beginning price of $432.
This, however, is not the first time bitcoin is so close to $1,000. In the last months of 2013, the price of digital currency reached almost $1,200, its highest price ever. The surge was recorded just before the collapse of Japanese bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox, which lost millions of dollars as a result of major hacking attack.
It is unclear what exactly provoked bitcoin price hike. Some attribute the growth to the unstable economic situation which urges people to turn to virtual currencies. Among other possible factors are the fall of Chinese yuan, Brexit, and the US presidential elections.
Overall, more and more people, including individuals and Wall Street investors, are trading the digital currency today. This month, bitcoin trading volumes totaled 113 million coins, a 16-fold growth since 2013. The latest price spike is likely to urge more industry players to acquire the virtual currency.
The popularity of virtual currency has significantly increased in both China and India. A growth in India has been driven by the government’s decision to execute a demonetization plan. Meanwhile, a depreciation of the Chinese national currency has also contributed to the growth of bitcoin demand.
According to Zebpay founder, Sandeep Goenka, bitcoin market is still small in India, but shows huge potential. “We continued to add 50,000 users and will do more than $15 mln in Bitcoin trades in December. These are small numbers for India,” he said.
“I believe that all Bitcoin fundamentals are very strong. I expect a price of $2,000+ by the end of 2017. I do believe that Bitcoin is increasingly eligible as an alternate asset class and investment.”
Although next year is just two days away, there is still a possibility that bitcoin price will cross its three-year high of $1,000 before the end of 2016, with some industry insiders expecting the surge to continue in the first weeks of 2017.