Last Thursday we reported that bitcoin had risen to $6,000 for the first time this year. On Monday, just five days later, bitcoin reached a new 2019 high of $8,000. As I write this, one bitcoin is worth about $7,900.
Consequently, bitcoin reached its highest levels in late 2017 and early 2018. Bitcoin’s current price of just under $8,000 is less than half of the all-time high of $19,500 set in December 2017. Bitcoin is the least expensive $8,000 in July 2018.
As often happens, the rise of bitcoin is part of a broader cryptocurrency boom. On Saturday, the price of ether—the currency of the Ethereum network—rose above $200 for the first time in 2019. Other cryptocurrencies, including Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Monero, and Dash are at or near 2019 highs.
However, bitcoin has surpassed all other cryptocurrencies in recent weeks. The price of Bitcoin doubled in late March.
I wrote last week that there is no clear explanation for bitcoin’s popularity with investors. That is important continues to be true today.
One recent piece of bullish news came from Bakkt, a digital asset exchange that shares a parent company with the New York Stock Exchange. Bakkt announced on Monday that it will start user acceptance testing for bitcoin futures contracts in July.
It is a step towards the first large collection of money and may generate additional demand for bitcoin. But it’s hard to believe that this factor accounted for most of last week’s big price gains.
There are also some signs increasing bitcoin purchases to a large investment organization. That may be contributing to bitcoin’s rise, but it’s not clear why these buyers are suddenly interested in bitcoin.
While the price of bitcoin has been rising rapidly in recent days, it has not yet reached the fever pitch of late 2017. In the 48-hour period days before the peak of February 2017, Bitcoin rose from $12,000 to $15,000 in less than an hour. 48. A few days later, bitcoin hit its all-time record price of $19,500, then fell—the beginning of a one-year decline that brought the price below $4,000 by December 2018.