The digital currency market has topped $117 billion setting a new record as bitcoin scales $3,300 in new all-time high.
On Saturday 5th August, bitcoin made headlines after it scaled the $3,200 mark for the first time. This marked a significant move for the digital currency as it hadn’t seen $3,000 figures since the 12th June. Then it recorded a high of $3,041, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).
As of the 7th August, 2017, bitcoin is currency trading at $3,354, according to CoinMarketCap. Its market value now stands at over $55 billion. Over the past seven days its value has increased by 20.55 percent. Within 24 hours a rise of just below 5 percent was recorded.
This marks a monumental moment for the digital currency market as it pushes the total cap value up to $117 billion.
The highest figure it had achieved prior to this was $116.2 billion on the 12th June. On the 5th August, it was worth $108 billion. On the 16th July, it had a low of $60 billion.
Ethereum remains in second place with a market cap worth over $25 billion. It’s trading at $270. Ripple is in third place with a value of $6.9 billion and is trading at $0.180044. Bitcoin cash is currently down in fourth position, dropping its value by over 15 percent in seven days to $258 with a market value of $4.2 billion.
Of the top 10 digital currencies, bitcoin cash is the only one that has experienced a significant decline over the past week.
Bitcoin Steams Ahead Despite Bitcoin Cash
At the beginning of August, the community saw a user activated hard fork take place. This created a new digital currency called Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
The supporters behind BCH claim that it will increase the number of transactions that get processed on to the blockchain from one megabyte to eight. Bitcoin’s scalability issues are considered to be one thing that is currently holding it back.
Yet, despite the initial support of bitcoin cash it appears that the enthusiasm over it is waning as support for it remains limited. Not only that, but its price has seen wide fluctuations, which are to be expected for a new currency.
On 23rd July, bitcoin cash recorded a price of $555, prior to the fork taking place and any actual coins existing. In the runup to the fork, its price dropped to $217 on the 28th before recovering back up to $445. Once its market cap was established, the digital currency was trading around $370, but continued to waver. On the 2nd August, it recorded a high of around $690; however, since then the market value has continued to drop to its present price of $258.
With such low support for bitcoin cash, Sheffield Clark, CEO of Coinsource, believes that the digital currency is a ‘non-event.’
“When we look back 30 days from now, this is essentially going to be a non-event.”
Whereas, Perry Woodin, CEO of Node40, a blockchain service provider, specializing in infrastructure hosting and blockchain accounting, said:
“People who are going to benefit from bitcoin cash are the ones who see it as free money, so they can then invest in something else. It’s going to be a race to see who can sell it the fastest.”
Chris Burniske, a blockchain projects lead at ARK Invest, an investment manager focused on disruptive innovation, took to Twitter to state:
It remains to be seen what impact bitcoin cash will have on its price once people start selling off their coins. Even though it may have increased the number of megabytes to bitcoin’s, it doesn’t have the infrastructure behind it that bitcoin does.
Ryan Taylor, Dash Core CEO, sums it up by adding that the bitcoin network is useful to businesses and consumers:
“With no substantial enhancements compared with bitcoin, bitcoin cash is unlikely to be integrated into those same services, given the substantial expense for businesses operating them to do so.”
It may be because of this continued support for bitcoin that its value has increased by over 20 percent in seven days. It may be because SegWit is projected to be locked in later this month, which is the next significant step toward improving the bitcoin network. It may be because people are realising that BCH may not be the answer.
What we are seeing, though, is a significant rise in the price of bitcoin. No doubt there will be many speculating on how far its price can go before it bursts again. However, for others, this will be a normal process as a period of readjustments is undertaken in the market.
Bitcoin to Reach $5,000?
Some are claiming that bitcoin can easily reach $5,000. According to Ronnie Moas, Standpoint Research founder, he is reported as saying that bitcoin could attain $5,000 in a ‘few months.’ He believes this because of the 21 million bitcoin cap, which will increase its demand as the coins become more scarce.
In May, CNBC Daniel Master, director of Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund (GABI), said that within eight to 14 months, bitcoin could scale the $4,000 mark. With the trajectory that the digital currency is on at the moment, it could easily reach that price before then. However, for a long-term improvement on the coin a steady climb to $4,000 would be better.
Vinny Lingham, CEO of CivicKey, a blockchain identity startup, took to social media to say:
Of course, it’s worth bearing in mind that bitcoin still has a scaling issue. According to Blockchain.info, there are currently over 8,000 unconfirmed bitcoin transactions waiting to be included on the blockchain.
While this is significantly less than the more than 220,000 unconfirmed transactions reported earlier this year, it still highlights that the network needs an upgrade.
Yet, despite this one fly in the ointment, the bitcoin cash fork illustrates that bitcoin has reached a mature stage to the extent that its price wasn’t impacted with BCH launched. In fact, its price remained stable, floating around $2,700.
This is indicative of how far the currency has come and the support it has behind it. There may be problems with its scaling issues at present, but a solution is being worked on. Once that is in place, who knows where the digital currency’s price will go.
Featured image from Shutterstock.