Bitcoin breaks $1,000 for the first time in more than three years

photo credit: Bitcoin IMG_1924 via photopin (license)

The value of digital currency Bitcoin exceeded $1,000 at around midnight Sunday, the first day of 2017.

Currently BitcoinAverage.com lists the global weighted value of the cryptocurrency at $1028.11 USD per coin. This price jump makes Bitcoin’s second step over this threshold of $1,000 per coin. The last time took place in November 2013. At the time, the Bitcoin community’s eyes turned to the then de facto Bitcoin exchange, Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, before a hack that led to its failure the next year caused the currency to plunge back down.

Bitcoin’s market has been slowly recovering ever since 2013, when it fell to nearly $200. However, before the bubble that pierced $1,000, the currency’s average value had never exceeded $200 since its inception in 2009.

In the midst of increasing innovation and investment surrounding Bitcoin’s underlying technology, the globally distributed ledger known as the blockchain, 2016 began to see the market value bolstering. At the beginning of the year, the price had reached $431 and Bitcoin ended 2016 just shy of $1,000 at $954.

Screenshot from BitcoinAverage.com on January 2, 2017.

Screenshot from BitcoinAverage.com on Jan. 2

This new record puts Bitcoin at a market capitalization above $16 billion USD.

A report at Bitcoin.com comments that Bitcoin’s value in Chinese markets foreshadowed the global average milestone in December when volumes hit record highs and exchanges there exceeded $1,000 USD in terms of yuan. However, this market value did not reach more large “western” exchanges such as Bitfinex, Bitstamp and Kraken until just after the New Year.

Analysts in the Bitcoin and economic community believe that Bitcoin may be affected currently by changes to China’s capital controls, cited by ZeroHedge. China’s influence on the Bitcoin market seems unmistakable, in years past rumors of crackdowns on the currency would lead market changes and capital controls changes in China would quickly find themselves connected to surges.

The current leap for Bitcoin’s market value has stirred a great deal of attention from social media as Reddit and Twitter explode with interest. More traditional media is also jumping on to report on this event, with Reuters, The Guardian and CNBC already publishing articles.

The market is far more mature than it was in 2013, with no central exchange maintaining almost all of the volume like Mt. Gox. This year may turn out to be the breakout year for Bitcoin that 2014 could have been.

Photo credit: Bitcoin IMG_1924 via photopin (license)