It took bitcoin 10 plus years to reach $20,000, but then just another 3 plus weeks to double again to $40,000. Experts believe the bull run is due in large part to increasing institutional investment in digital currency from established firms such as PayPal PYPL and Ruffer Investment Management, which purchased around $745 million in bitcoin in November. In an interview with CNBC, Social Capital’s Chamath Palihapitiya said bitcoin is “probably going to $100,000, then $150,000, then $200,000. In what period? I don’t know. [Maybe] 5 or even ten years, but it’s going there.”
Ether, the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network, is currently worth more than $140 billion, while Bitcoin has a total market cap of more than $750 billion. Then there is a long list of less valuable cryptocurrencies, including Tether at twenty two billion, Litecoin at eleven billion, and Bitcoin Cash at eight billion.
The surge continued into Friday, with Bitcoin valued at more than $41,000 as of press time. Which means that value of Bitcoin has risen by over 400 percent over the last year. Interest in the virtual currency has been especially high over the last month, during which time its value has more than doubled. The interest has reportedly been driven by investor’s desire for an alternative asset not tied to a central bank, unlike the dollar or euro. Naturally, that interest may or may not last. If nothing else, cryptocurrency has proven itself to be quite volatile in recent years. The importance of Bitcoin, for instance, crashed from $19,000 to $3,200 between 2017 and 2018.
If the past year has proven anything, it’s that cryptocurrencies have a lot more long lasting power than the naysayers thought. And that a listing of the best cryptocurrencies to invest in is most certainly a worthwhile endeavor.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, brothers who became famous for the legal battle of theirs with Mark Zuckerberg over the origins of Facebook, are also major holders of bitcoins. At the peak of the last bitcoin boom in 2017, the Winklevoss brothers had $1.3 billion in bitcoin, according to The New York Times. That same bitcoin hoard would be worth $2.6 billion today.
While bitcoin is undoubtedly playing a huge role in these movements, they are also being driven by alternative cryptocurrencies, known as altcoins, making significant gains. In the last five days Ethereum, XRP, stellar, chainlink, litecoin, bitcoin cash, tezos and cardano have each provided returns in excess of 20%. The headliner is stellar, which gained 138%. If bitcoin continues to climb, perhaps aided by additional stimulus measures following the inauguration of Joseph Biden as the 46th president of the United States USM , altcoins could be poised for additional future growth as they typically follow bitcoin’s lead.