Bitcoin enthusiasts of Great Britain will have today been pleased to witness the most popular cryptocurrency speed past the exciting but largely trivial milestone of £5,000 – albeit briefly. Coinmarketcap, one of the industry’s favoured price referencing websites, recorded an all-time high for BTC of $6,645.40 earlier on Wednesday. According to currency conversion website XE.com, this equates to approximately £5,014. The high point came at around 16:35 London time but at several points since around 11am, the price crossed the £5,000 ($6,622) threshold. It has since pulled back slightly and at the time of writing, a single Bitcoin will set buyers back around £4,961.
British news juggernaut, the BBC, reported the “historic moment of sorts”, providing yet more mainstream attention for the cryptocurrency space in the nation’s press. They detailed the meteoric rise of the virtual currency, highlighting its previous bull-runs in August, September, and the enormous upwards pressure seen in general since the beginning of 2017. Garrick Hileman, a research fellow at the prestigious University of Cambridge told the publication:
It’s been a very innovative year – there have been a lot of new technology platforms for cryptocurrencies, which have lifted Bitcoin… It wouldn’t surprise me if the price were to go even higher.
He’s hardly alone in his outlook, although few who share the professor’s background have the same optimism. Notable and respected state-side economics lecturers see the current enthusiasm as misplaced. However, there are no shortage of bulls’ voices coming to support Hileman’s opinion from the US side of the pond. Most notable perhaps are John McAfee with his audacious bet in which he’ll consume his private parts on live TV if Bitcoin doesn’t reach half a million dollars by 2020 and Max Keiser, the famous RT News analyst who makes regular optimistic reports about his price predictions for the digital currency without offering quite the same bold stakes.
Bitcoin has shrugged off many challenges since January of this year to reach the all-time highs recorded today. Of these, there’s been hostility from several nations, including once-vital China, competition from the likes of Ethereum, and even the blockchain itself splitting numerous times. Each time the fear and uncertainty of one such event strikes, the price of Bitcoin struggles momentarily before assuming its upwards trajectory. This pattern seemingly proves the old Nietzsche adage: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”