Having started the upward movement at the end of 2016, bitcoin has just broken its all-time high. As of the time of writing, the cryptocurrency is trading at $1,184, according to the data from Coin Market Cap. The previous largest price was recorded three years ago – bitcoin cost $1,165.89 as of November 30, 2013.
Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges set bitcoin price at about $1275 while the largest BTC/USD exchange Bitfinex offers the price of $1149.90.
Bobby Lee, CEO of the longest-running and one of the largest bitcoin exchanges worldwide BTCC, announced that the new milestone was achieved on January 3, as traders on BTCC pushed the price of demand to its peak.
Bitcoin analysts and experts believe that bitcoin’s ongoing price rally will continue. George Kikvadze, the Vice Chairman of Bitfury, acknowledged the rising price of Bitcoin in the Chinese market.
I was wrong. We will cross all time high of $1163 in the next 24 hrs. Super bullish volumes all around !
— George Kikvadze (@BitfuryGeorge) January 4, 2017
Bitcoin is also close to hitting the all-time high price established three years ago in global exchanges including Bitstamp with the price close to break the $1,076 margin. Mexico’s Bitso and South Korea’s Korbit trade bitcoin at about $1,171 and $1,229 respectively due to arbitrage stemming from economic uncertainty.
Overall, more and more people, including individuals and Wall Street investors, are trading bitcoin today. In December, the trading volumes of the cryptocurrency totaled 113 million coins, a 16-fold growth since 2013. The current price spike is expected to encourage more industry players to acquire the virtual currency.
Bitcoin is up 95% since the beginning of September, and it gained 123% in 2016, making it the top performing currency for the second year in a row.
The popularity of virtual currency has significantly increased in both China and India.
Bitcoin growth in India has been driven by the government’s decision to execute a demonetization plan. Zebpay founder, Sandeep Goenka, admits that 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.”
Experts admit that the bitcoin price is also strongly connected with the decision of the Chinese government to tighten capital controls as the Chinese New Year approaches. The cryptocurrency is likely to continue growing in price while capital outflow increases and regulations remain strict.
The thing is that bitcoin was created as a web-based digital currency that can enable transferring money across the globe quickly and anonymously. No need for a central controlling authority, one of the main advantages of bitcoin, makes the cryptocurrency so attractive for those wanting to get around capital controls, such as China’s.