After more than a 17 fold rise in 2017, Bitcoin easily takes the title of the ‘best performing financial asset of the year’ by an unprecedented margin. Starting the year at around $1000, Bitcoin breached the $1k mark the very first day. From then on, the journey has only been uphill, marred occasionally by setbacks from which Bitcoin has only emerged stronger and more resilient than ever. Closing the year at around $12,650 a Bitcoin, the markets saw it momentarily touch even $20,000!
Here’s a chronicle documenting Bitcoin’s unrivalled rise this year.
High: $1,166 | Low: $738.7
Bitcoin soared north of $1,000 the very first day of the year. Despite a crackdown by China mid-way through the month to stop capital outflows, Bitcoin prices recovered after a dip and by the end of the month, were again hovering around the $1,000 mark.
High: $1,222.2 | Low: $936.4
Uneventful month with steady rise in prices to $1,200 on the last day.
High: $1,328.8 | Low: $891.0
Another uneventful month with a slight dip as prices hover around $1,000. The number of Bitcoin related projects on GitHub pass 10,000.
High: $1,449.7 | Low: $1,070.2
Prices appreciate to level around $1400 following increased investor interest and sustained demand for Bitcoin.
High: $2,689.0 | Low: $1,432.0
Prices jump dramatically to around $2,200 by the end of the month as demand soars abruptly. Many posit that institutional investors are moving into Bitcoin. More hedge funds invest in Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s price rise picks up steam as asset starts to appreciate exponentially in what is to turn into a mega rally. Bitcoin takes eight years to reach $1000 and just five months to reach double that price. Market cap exceeds $25 billion.
June and July
High: $3,000.0 | Low: $1,835.8
Price touches $3,000 on June 11, less than a month after breaching the $2,000 barrier, after media reports on high profile investors leads to renewed surge in buying. Prices hover between $2–3k over the two month period.
High: $4,749.90 | Low: $2,615.80
Bitcoin forks into two different cryptoassets on the first of August. Bitcoin cash arises as Bitcoin variant offering increased transaction speeds at lower costs, albeit at the cost of network security. Bitcoin holders receive an equal amount of Bitcoin cash. The fork has almost zero effect on Bitcoin as prices shoot up to $4750 by the end of the month. Market cap exceeds $50 billion.
High: $4,969.00 | Low: $2,981.00
Prices hover between $4–5k during the first few days. As China bans Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and later on announces its intentions to ban Bitcoin exchanges, prices tumble to below $4k. JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon calls Bitcoin a ‘fraud’ and ‘Tulip bubble 2.0’ causing further drop in price to a low of $3200. Bitcoin sheds 20% of its value in a few days. Lost ground is recovered pretty quickly as institutional investors express renewed interest and wealthy investors like Rothschild buy stakes in Bitcoin. Bitcoin settles around $4,400 by the end of the month.
High: $6,472.10 | Low: $4,134.90
Bitcoin gains popularity among the masses following entry of institutional investors as mainstream media starts covering Bitcoin and other cryptoassets extensively. Celebrities and financial experts chime in with their opinions on Bitcoin. Investors flock to Bitcoin as prices rise steeply to $6k from $4k within a month. The community looks at two major hard forks, one slated for October and the other for November.
Investors look forward to upcoming major fork called SegWit 2X as buying momentum continues unabated. Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the world’s largest commodity exchange announces plans to offer Bitcoin futures trading by the end of the year. Bitcoin’s value is now up 600% in less than a year and the market cap exceeds $100 billion.
High: $11,427.17 | Low: $5,426.00
Bitcoin goes mainstream as price catapults to $10,000 by the end of the month. There is frenzied buying of Bitcoin as prices go past $7k. After an effective campaign by developers rallying the community against the hard fork, Segwit 2X is called off. Prices slip to $5,700 as a disappointed section of investors sell off, moving on to Altcoins such as Bitcoin Cash.
Further, a section of miffed SegWit 2X supporting miners abandon Bitcoin mining and start mining on the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain, causing Bitcoin network congestion and leaving a lot of transactions in limbo. Transaction fees rise steeply as some people get apprehensive about Bitcoin’s doom. After the initial shock, Bitcoin recovers rapidly following a spate of exciting developments — the launch of Bitcoin transfer feature by major payments platform Square and the first ever successful cross Blockchain transfer of cryptoasset, carried out between Bitcoin and Litecoin, called an Atomic swap.
Following Bitcoin’s rise beyond $10,000, press and media outlets worldwide go agog over Bitcoin. Coverage grows exponentially as TV shows invite experts to discuss Bitcoin and Bitcoin finds a prominent place in business news. Momentum builds up as waves of new investors foray into Bitcoin. Two more exchanges (CBOE and Cantor exchange) announce plans to launch Bitcoin futures. Market cap exceeds $150 billion.
(All time high — $20,000)
Bitcoin leaps and bounds as price almost doubles in less than ten days. With Bitcoin hovering around $17,000 after an average gain of $1000 every other day, the community is abuzz with excitement and anticipation of a $20k breach — and it happens, but only momentarily.
Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) launches Bitcoin futures trading on 10th December. Some commodity fund managers are observing that the slump in Gold investments and Gold indexed funds has occurred in conjunction with Bitcoin’s price rise, suggesting that Gold investors are moving to Bitcoin. Lightning network, an instant and low fee payments platform proposed to be built atop the Bitcoin Blockchain is nearing completion after trial tests return encouraging results.
Bitcoin ultimately dips by end of the year and ends at $12650 on 31st December — while that’s about 30% lower than its peak, it’s still a staggering 12x return.
Some predict that the technology underpinning Bitcoin, the Blockchain, would eventually be adopted by countries in the creation of state backed cryptoassets and that Bitcoin itself would lose value. Though the future is unclear with developments occurring at a frenetic pace, it can’t be denied that Bitcoin has truly dominated 2017 ‘as the best financial asset and as a larger cultural phenomenon’.