Bitcoin’s price continues to climb upward. According to a recent TechCrunch report, the price has just crossed the $4,000 mark for the first time, trading currently for around $4,135 per unit.
On Friday, the price of bitcoin was hovering around $3,500, as investors were confident about the cryptocurrency’s future. It was only one week ago that Bitcoin was trading for just over $3,000.
While Bitcoin remains relatively unknown to most people, huge investors are getting involved in digital money. Motivated by the surging price and increased demand, big currency players like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are actively promoting Bitcoin to clients and portfolio managers.
“With the total value nearly $120 bln, it’s getting harder for institutional investors to ignore cryptocurrencies,” said JP Morgan analyst Robert D. Boroujerdi, as reported by The Merkle. “There are currently over 800 cryptocurrencies out there, though just nine have a market cap in excess of $1 billion.”
Recent fears of a major conflict between the U.S. and North Korea have also pushed the price of Bitcoin up. Investors, worried about North Korea’s nuclear threat, recently dumped stocks and bonds in favor of alternative assets like Bitcoin.
Financial analysts are also pointing to Bitcoin’s August 1 split as a significant factor contributing to the price increase. With the anticipated activation of SegWit (Segregated Witness), a method that allows more transactions to take place on the blockchain, the cryptocurrency divided into two separate digital currencies – Bitcoin Classic and Bitcoin Cash.
Many Wall Street experts predict bitcoin’s price will continue to climb, potentially past $5,000, and possibly perform better than all U.S.-based stocks in 2017. One analyst, Thomas Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisers, believes Bitcoin is an “under owned asset” and prefers the virtual currency over gold. As reported by the Merkle, he sees a huge potential for the cryptocurrency as more institutional investors get comfortable with it.
“It [Bitcoin] has a lot of characteristics that are very similar to gold that I think will make it ultimately attractive as an alternate currency. It’s a good store of value.”
In the last two weeks, Bitcoin’s price has grown 40 percent. Current estimates put the market value of the cryptocurrency around $64 billion, up from just $10 billion the first week of August.
However, Bitcoin remains extremely volatile and the market can be impetuous. While investment in the digital currency sounds like an easy win, bitcoin’s price could fall just as quickly despite expert predictions.
[Featured Image by George Frey/Getty Images]