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Have you ever wondered what your life (or your bank account) would look like if you’d invested in Apple or Facebook early on? Unless you’ve been living in a cave, chances are you’ve heard about the astonishing bitcoin phenomenon. Today, the super coin’s market cap is worth more than $93 billion. That’s larger than that of Goldman Sachs. And although such astronomical returns should be raising some eyebrows (and they are), most key financial players from Wall Street to Tokyo believe that the bitcoin revolution is only getting started. Read on to find out why.
While you were sleeping: From $100 To $1.8 Million
Bitcoin began trading in 2010, mostly amongst early adopters. The first bitcoin exchange opened in March 2010 with a per-coin value of $0.003. The first real-world transaction took place in May 2010, when 10,000 bitcoins were exchanged for two pizzas in Jacksonville, Florida.
Since then, bitcoin has surged monstrously over the past seven years, multiplying by 879,999, while turning more every-day investors into millionaires than any other method of investment over the past decade. Just imagine; if you’d have bought $100 worth of bitcoin on the first of January 2011, you’d be $1.8 million richer today. With $5,000 spent, you would have been a billionaire now.
But all that’s history, right? Or is it? Just recently, on October 13 2017, bitcoin leaped another 21 percent in 48 hours to a record high of $5,856, multiplying six times in value this year alone.
What’s driving the value of the currency? Positive longer-term trends are hugely helping bitcoin’s price. Favorable 2017 regulation from the likes of Japan, which has allowed retailers to accept bitcoin for payment if they want, has supported bitcoin. Also, Goldman Sachs is considering the launch of a new trading operation focused on digital currencies. Some investors feel this is a sign that larger players could enter the market.
In addition, top figures in the business world are also beginning to discuss bitcoin, while the technology behind it (blockchain) has already sparked interest from banks and global financial institutions.
And last but not least, bitcoin has also benefited from a growing acceptance of the currency by businesses around the world, as more and more companies, from Microsoft to Dell to PayPal to your neighborhood pizza, are now accepting bitcoin as a means of payment.
2018: The second wave of bitcoin
Despite increased buzz about the potential, aside growing acknowledgment from the mainstream media, key business figures and celebrities, true bitcoin investors are still scarce, leaving much room for the next wave of investors to join.
Featured in CNBC‘s “Fast Money” segment, former Fortress Investment Group hedge fund manager turned bitcoin investor Mike Novogratz says: “I’m pretty confident to say it’s going higher due to growing demand and limited supply”, adding that “It would not surprise me if by April 2018 we’re over $10,000.” Just last week, other experts predicted bitcoin prices would reach $6,000 by the end of 2017.
And long term? Analysts are backing the figures with numbers; according to Saxo Bank analyst Kay Van-Petersen, in 10 years, we’ll be able to see bitcoin making up 10 percent of the $5 trillion average daily volume in the foreign exchange market. The Bitcoin’s market capitalization could grow to $1.75 trillion which would make each single Bitcoin worth $100,000.”
Should I join?
If you had bought $5000, $1000 or even $100 worth of bitcoin when it first said bonjour and was priced at a measly couple of cents, you probably would be sitting on your own private island now soaking up the sun with a Pina Colada and not reading this article. But all the signs are showing that the second wave of bitcoin millionaires could be right around the corner.
While the bitcoin community embraces new current record highs, analysts and optimists alike believe that this is just the beginning for bitcoin. Bitcoin has a lot further to go than the current price point to fulfill its end goal become a real-world currency without being controlled by governments, as it was designed to one day be. Bitcoin just has too many legitimate advantages over conventional fiat money, and more and more people are becoming aware of that. And with only 0.1% of the population currently owning bitcoin or other virtual coins, accompanied by rising trading volume, lower daily volatility and daily technological improvements in a still developing market, 2018 is certainly shaping up to be the year of bitcoin.
While bitcoin is a bubble, the mania is justified, because it is a technological advancement that promises to fundamentally alter our lives. With that in mind, bitcoin has certainly positioned itself as an exciting space for investors to jump into–for now, and the long term.