We are almost half way through the year, and it’s already proving to be a good year for investors in bitcoin. The numbers are so good, that even iconic investors like Warren Buffett are weighing in with their dismissive comments. This clearly means that things are on the up and up for bitcoin. And they are! Reports indicate that Bitcoin prices have gone up hugely from the beginning of the year. It’s trading at $7,114, the first time in 2019. Transaction fees went up in a month, from March to April, almost 200%.
It wasn’t always this way. The trends were not favourable; in fact, 2018 ended pretty abysmally for the currency- at about $3200. Come 2019 and things are very different. It’s been a sluggish pace, sometimes even unsteady, but it’s definitely been on the upswing. A climb of 15% in less than an hour has caused cheer.
It’s also important because, until last week, according to Bitcoin news, it has been working towards breaking the $6,000 barrier, a psychological block that hinders the mass acceptance of this currency. It is often seen as gimmicky and unreliable. Some others are hesitant in the absence of a regulatory body, making it not legal or legitimate. The truth remains that it’s often hard to understand. Most of us know that it’s lucrative but are unclear of how it works. Educating the public, giving people time to acclimatise to the idea and then accept it, is considered to be the way forward. It also helps that huge companies and retailers are slowly opening up to the idea of bitcoin as payment, including Rakuten and Starbucks.
Bitcoin has now crossed the $6000 barrier as well, thanks to more gains. A close second in the horse race to bitcoin is ethereum, and it has been making huge gains as well, bolstering the world of cryptocurrency. If you thought bitcoin is the clear frontrunner, outperforming the rest of its competitors with huge margins, you’d be wrong. Last month, the growth came from other cryptocurrencies in the market that were way ahead of bitcoin!
Reasons for the increase
The inevitable question that arises because of the upswing is what causes the increase. This does not have one answer, or even an easy answer. It seems like even the main players in the game are clueless about the cause. It is true that cryptocurrency in general has been showing a sure advancement last year and this year, despite some setback. There’s some speculation that this price surge may have been the result of a single buyer who placed a large trade request. Computers began working overtime, generating their own algorithms so as to not miss a share of the money pie.
No matter what the reason, the massive increase of the bitcoin is reminiscent of its golden run at the end of 2017. By the first week in April, bitcoin had risen by close to 30% in a matter of days, continuing its strong stance from the month of March. What’s more, its increase has created hope that things will not fluctuate too violently.
However, news from last week now says that more than 7,000 bitcoin has been stolen by hackers from the world’s largest startup, Binance. This massive security breach was not easy to do- hackers gained access to two-factor authentication codes, API keys and other vital information to do the deed. The amount works out to $41 million – a huge amount in every sense of the word. Is this a piece of information that should worry investors? No, the company has announced that maintenance is going on and that funds are secure. Perhaps the interest of the hackers is a sign that bitcoin payments are climbing comfortably.
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