In early March, the price of one bitcoinsurpassed the price of an ounce of gold, which was $1,227 at the time. The price of the yellow-tinted precious metal and the increasingly popular cryptocurrency aren’t related in any meaningful way, but the event was notable as Bitcoin is often referred to as the digital gold, since it’s a store of value that doesn’t suffer from inflation.
That feels like ancient history now that the price of one bitcoin has surpassed $4,000.
The reason for Bitcoin’s latest price surge is easy to pinpoint — investors are encouraged by the recent softwareupgrade and the splitinto two currencies, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, both of which were complex and risky processes but went without a hiccup.
It’s harder to say, however, why the price of Bitcoin has reached these unprecedented highs, and where the rally would stop. The price of one bitcoin has more than doubled since it dipped to around $1,900 in July and is now at $4,132 according toCoindesk, having at one point soared as high as $4,225.
As for Bitcoin’s newly created cousin, Bitcoin Cash, its price is currently $308. The cryptocurrency, which shares history with Bitcoin but is otherwise a new (albeit very similar) coin, rose to more than $700 shortly after its debut on August 1 but its price has since stabilized at around $300.
At this price, Bitcoin’s total market cap is at $67 billion, according toCoinmarketcap, while the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies combined is at an all-time high of $137 billion.
As I wrote in thisoverview, Bitcoin’s big SegWit2x upgrade — one that will increase the size of blocks in its blockchain, enabling more transactions with lower transaction costs — isn’t over yet, and the arguably hard part will likely happen sometime in November. But right now, investors are pouring money into Bitcoin like there’s no tomorrow.
And if you’re wondering how much one ounce of gold costs right now, here’s your answer: It’s $1,262, nearly the exact same price as it was five months ago.
Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH.