The price of Bitcoin has returned above USD 9000 for the first time since March, having risen by more than a third in value over the last two weeks. The world’s most valuable cryptocurrency now has a market cap of more than USD 150 billion, though this is still down considerably from its peak valuation of around USD 320 billion in late 2017. Other major cryptocurrencies have been boosted by Bitcoin’s recent resurgence, including Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin.
The most significant gains were experienced by the Bitcoin spin-off Bitcoin cash, which has almost doubled in value in the last week from USD 750 to USD 1,500.
According to analysts, a surge in Bitcoin is foreseen that could soar the value of the cryptocurrency to even greater levels than it experienced in 2017. The price predictions come amid significant gains across cryptocurrency markets in recent weeks that have seen Bitcoin rise by more than a third in value to return above USD 9,000 for the first time since March.
The positive price forecast is in part informed by market activity that has seen a large increase in buy orders for the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency. As noted by Cryptoslate, buy orders compose over 92% of market activity for the first time since March 2017.
At that time, Bitcoin was worth just over USD 1,000 but quickly began to gain value, eventually reaching close to USD 20,000 by the end of the year. Now, with so many buy orders placing pressure on the cryptocurrency market, a significant price shift is likely, the cryptocurrency website states.
Analysts have previously cited concerns about cryptocurrency regulation when explaining Bitcoin’s dramatic drop in value at the beginning of 2018, which saw it lose over USD 10,000 over the course of a few months. However, the right kind of regulation could, in fact, be a boost for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as it will protect investors while also exploiting their benefits.
A move towards this type of even-handed approach to Bitcoin was hinted at by IMF chief Christine Lagarde earlier this month, who said Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology could transform the way people save and invest. Ms. Lagarde’s comments preceded an upswing in the cryptocurrency markets, with other major digital currencies like Ethereum, Ripple, and Bitcoin cash mirroring and even exceeding the recent gains of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is up over 15% in the last seven days giving sings that the surge in price is back.
These include the investor and self-described “Bitcoin evangelist” Alistair Milne, who believes Bitcoin will reach between USD 35,000 by 2020.
Such a price increase would put Bitcoin’s market capitalization at around USD 5 trillion, more than five times the market cap of Apple, which is currently the world’s most valuable publicly listed company.