Bitcoin and other digital currencies appear to have brushed off China’s exit, rising to a global market cap of more than $150 billion for all digital currencies.
Bitcoin is leading, gaining another 3% today after a ~$300 jump yesterday from $4,350 to a recent high of $4,635, stabilizing at around $4,600 at the time of writing.
It’s trading volumes have also risen to around $1.5 billion, while global volumes stand at near $3.7 billion. Ripple in particular stands out for providing nearly $700 million of it, while Ethereum continues to disappoint with slightly less than $400 million in trading volumes.
Why the currency suddenly rose in price is unclear. A fork is expected around November 17th, but that’s not designed to cause a chain-split. Instead, Jeff Garzik, Lead Developer of Segwit2x, says:
#SegWit2x is an upgrade to BTC and will use the BTC ticker.
— Jeff Garzik (@jgarzik) October 8, 2017
That’s to be determined. At least one exchange, Bitfinex, has stated they will use B2X as a ticker for the segwit2x chain, even if it has the vast majority of hashrate.
But if segwit2x does have the vast majority of mining power, as miners are currently saying it does, then a minority chain is unlikely to survive without protocol level modifications.
So it is unclear at this stage whether there will actually be two chains, and if so, which one would be the minority chain and under what circumstances.
Making this fork somewhat different from any previously seen. Thus, although “free money” might explain some of the price action, that’s unlikely to be the entire picture.
Bitcoin has gone mainstream. Even our metered paywall provider accepts it for fixed three months payments. You can buy games on Steam with it. In Australia you can buy it in corner shops.
Mums are now texting their children about BTC and ETH, although we do hope they don’t play around with them private keys. But although bitcoin is not yet ubiquitous, it has entered a new stage.
That may mean the currency responds to macroeconomic factors, such as the endless money printing that has sent assets to new highs.
Global stocks have reached the highest level in history, standing at $87 trillion, equating to 110% of global GDP, with $2 trillion added just last week.
Investors are clearly looking for more risky assets, out from bonds and just cash to dividend providing stocks and growth potential bitcoin.
Eventually, the music will stop. It always does when central politburos are in charge of our money, but for now the economy is growing, western nations are at as good as full employment, the good times are here.
May they last at least another decade as the roaring 20s near. So dance while the music sounds and may Fortuna furnish you with a chair once it stops.