In just one year, bitcoin has risen from around $200 to now trade within a touching distance of $2,000, with the currency surpassing gold parity this year and further increasing to a price higher than an ounce of gold has ever achieved.
The highest ever recorded price for an ounce of gold was on the 6th of September 2011, near the height of the banking and euro crisis, when the commodity reached an all-time high of $1920.
Since then it has fallen to a current trading price of $1,255 as investors moved to take more risk in the stock market and the wider economy after the crisis somewhat stabilized, a price that remains at historical highs.
During the same time, bitcoin has risen from around $1 to now be worth almost $2,000, a price few thought would ever be seen, but the digital currency has some advantages over the more analogue gold.
Even with the on-going transaction backlog, it is a lot easier to move one bitcoin than to move an ounce of gold, especially across borders or long distances. Because bitcoin is digital, just a piece of code, allowing it to quickly move across the internet tubes.
Moreover, it is even more limited in supply than gold which continues to be found across the world. On top, loosing gold is difficult at a macro scale, but loosing bitcoin can be easy.
How many have been lost is difficult to estimate, but 1 million wouldn’t be a surprising number especially because they were thrown around like nothing in the early days.
The currency, therefore, is not just limited in supply, but actually goes down in supply. At a sufficiently long time frame, it may well be the case that not even one satoshi survives. Which means, as long as demand remains constant, its value should increase.
On the demand front, its use in ordinary commerce may be falling currently, replaced by playing a gold like role of acting as a hedge combined with commercial uses in less ordinary markets such as ransomware.
There are reports institutions are piling up bitcoins just in case, making it slightly necessary, like an anti-virus, for no one wants their data being locked up, especially in emergency situations like we saw recently.
Since then price has increased considerably, with its market cap now standing above $32 billion, slightly higher than the market cap of all digital currencies combined just one month ago, clearly indicating that this space is booming.
Market caps of $2 billion are now becoming common, when previously it was only reached by bitcoin, to then be breached by ethereum last year. Since then, the two have both risen significantly, with the awareness of one benefiting the other due to them both usually being discussed at the same time.
That has now sent the combined market cap of all digital currencies to $70 billion, an all time high with a boom never seen before in this space which continues to attract attention across the board.