Bitcoin has flexed some strength and perseverance over the last couple of years. But in 2017 it’s hitting highs that not very many people would have anticipated. When the cryptocurrency hit a record high back in May, one investor predicted it could reach a $4,000 value in a year or less. Since then it has only soared higher, and recently cracked the $2,000 mark for the first time. Bitcoin’s value is exploding right before our eyes.
For the most passionate advocates of digital currency, this is a told-you-so moment. They believed that Bitcoin only needed time and exposure to catch on. While they might not have anticipated such a sudden and drastic rise, they believed that its value would soar at one point or another. For the rest of us, the incredible strength of Bitcoin in 2017 mostly calls to mind the question of how is this happening, and what’s behind it. There’s no single answer to this question. Delving into some of the developments and changes relating to the cryptocurrency industry in the last year or so, here are a few significant factors contributing to the rise in value.
Mainstream Coverage Has Increased
Way back in the fall of 2014 an article written about Bitcoin’s continued growth made note of mainstream coverage in attempting to explain what was going on. The same article also touched on Twitter mentions (of “#Bitcoin” specifically) as well as transaction volume and traffic at popular Bitcoin sites. All of this adds up to the idea of Bitcoin being traded and talked about frequently enough for it to be on people’s radar, and this activity has only intensified since 2014. If you were inclined to ignore Bitcoin a few years ago, chances are you’re having a hard time doing so today. That’s inevitably going to lead to more interest, more people trying it for the first time, and more people buying and using it.
Ease Of Use Has Improved
When you read about the growth of Bitcoin, it’s almost impossible not to come across mentions of new wallet and blockchain companies that are also thriving. People who attempted to predict Bitcoin’s future four or five years ago were wrong in a lot of ways. One way in which most everyone had it right was that cryptocurrency would inevitably lead to the rise of affiliated businesses and technologies. Accordingly, we’ve seen an explosion in the number of wallets and storage options available, and each one tries to offer something a little different. As a result, there’s something for everyone, and people are having an easier time getting into Bitcoin where it once seemed daunting.
Casinos Have Gotten On Board
Casinos might sound insignificant in the greater scheme of things, considering worldwide adoption of a digital currency. The reality is that the more high volume businesses that use Bitcoin, the more demand we’ll see. So it’s actually pretty significant that some of the major online casinos operating in Europe have begun to embrace Bitcoin as an acceptable means of funding accounts. Millions of people play in real money online casinos each day, and if Bitcoin spreads through entire industry it’s going to mean a very high transaction volume. That process has already begun, and likely accounts for at least a small portion of the currency’s strength.
So Has The Far East
The biggest factor in Bitcoin’s surge throughout the first half of 2017 is that Japan and China have gotten on board. Both countries once sought to restrict (if not completely outlaw) cryptocurrency usage in the past. Now, both countries are easing up and becoming more tolerant. This allows Bitcoin to more easily flourish in the free market. Given the population density and economic strength of both countries, this is a major development for Bitcoin.