Bitcoin price climbed beyond $4,600 today’s morning, showing a growth of more than 10% since the start of the month. This is the first time bitcoin surpasses the $4,500 level since September.
The price, however, continued to grow during the day until press time, where the digital currency is worth $4,731. According to data from CoinMarketCap, bitcoin’s market cap is now valued at over $78 billion, accounting for more than 52% of the combined value of all cryptocurrencies, which stands at $150 billion.
The cryptocurrency seems to recover from a recent fall provoked by a crackdown on bitcoin exchanges in China. Last month, the nation’s central bank announced that all ICOs are illegal and issued an order to stop all virtual currency trading in the country.
Meantime, Japan is emerging as a new center of bitcoin trading, with local exchanges accounting for a large share of the world’s cryptocurrency market. Earlier this year, the Japanese authorities recognized bitcoin as a legal payment method, thus driving the value of the virtual currency. Also, the country’s financial regulators recognized 11 startups as registered cryptocurrency exchanges.
Overall, bitcoin price experienced increased volatility within the last month. After reaching an all-time high of more than $5,000 in the beginning of September, the cryptocurrency dropped below $3,000 a few days later.
Although it seems like the demand for the digital currency has started to grow again, it is yet unknown whether it will return to its previous record of $5,000 or surpass it by the end of the year. Besides, it will likely take time until the current price level is relatively stable.
Despite a rather volatile period for bitcoin, some experts remain optimistic about the future price movements. According to Gatecoin’s analyst, Thomas Glucksmann, and RT’s Keiser Report host, Max Keiser, the digital currency could reach $6,000 by the end of the current year.
Meantime, an upcoming bitcoin software upgrade named Segwit2x fuels investor concerns about the future of the bitcoin price. As previously announced by Segwit2x developers, a 2MB hard fork will be activated in November, 2017. Also known as the New York Agreement (NYA), the scaling solution is claimed to be a compromise between those who want to scale through Segwit and those who want to achieve scaling by increasing the block size.
Still, there are a large number of Segwit2x opponents, who claim that there is no need to further increase the block size, as they are far from congested. Besides, they point out that the NYA agreement did not receive widespread support across the industry and involved only a small sample of CEOs. More than half of the NYA signatories, they note, are portfolio companies in the Digital Currency Group, which is operated by the principal instigator of the NYA.
Despite the current uncertainty around Segwit2x, some major bitcoin exchanges have supported the proposal. A few days ago, two major cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase and Bifinex, announced that they will support both blockchains following SegWit2x hard fork implementation.