A bitcoin logo on a mobile phone.
Omar Marques | SOPA Images, LightRocket | Getty Images
Bitcoin rose above $ 18,000 for the first time since December 2017 and has extended a wild run for the cryptocurrency this year.
The price of Bitcoin was up 8.6% on Wednesday morning at USD 18,172, surpassing a level it has not reached since December 20, 2017. This comes from data from the industry website CoinDesk.
Bitcoin was in jeopardy in 2020, rising over 150% in one jump. In response to the Covid-19 crisis, crypto enthusiasts have unprecedented monetary and fiscal incentives as well as the interest of well-known investors such as Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckermiller.
It is now nearing the all-time high of $ 19,783 it recorded on a late 2017 rally that saw the values of several cryptocurrencies soar. After that milestone was reached, the bubble burst and Bitcoin fell to just $ 3,122 the following year.
But many crypto fans claim it will be different this time. They have welcomed big leaps in the industry from Fidelity Investments, Square and PayPal.
PayPal recently started letting its users buy, hold and sell virtual currency. The payment giant is set to enable crypto shopping early next year.
The market value of Bitcoin, calculated by multiplying the total number of Bitcoins in circulation by the price, is now $ 337.2 billion, above the $ 331.8 billion in value according to CoinMarketCap data December 2017.
"Bitcoin's market capitalization is now higher, although the cryptoasset is worth a little less because the system contains more bitcoins than it did in 2017," said Adam Vettese, market analyst at the online investment platform eToro, via email on Wednesday. "The offer has grown by around 10.75% since its last record."
The total number of bitcoins ever produced is capped at 21 million. The cryptocurrency saw a key technical event in the spring known as the "halving". The number of Bitcoins rewarded to the so-called "miners" who record Bitcoin transactions in their public ledger has been halved.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct the Stanley Printmiller name.