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Bitcoin has hit the $10,000 mark after a year of near-constant growth. However, people are still not sure what to make of the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin Rocketing to the Top
© Anastasiia Bakai / Shutterstock.com

This milestone was hit at the end of November as the cryptocurrency broke the $10,000 mark – after having hit $9,000 two days before and eight days after hitting $8,000.

According to TechCrunch, many see Bitcoin becoming a trillion-dollar industry, others feel Bitcoin could replace gold and U.S. dollars as well as every other monetary instrument there is. Still others say Bitcoin is the biggest speculatory bubble the world has ever seen, and that it will crash as quickly as it has risen. The cryptocurrency is also all over the media from Twitter to CNBC, even though most Americans don’t even know what a Bitcoin is. How can we track Bitcoin’s meteoric rise?

The Rise Of The Cryptocurrency

Are we at the beginning of a brave new world? Or is it just the biggest of so many bubbles. How did Bitcoin grow so quickly over the last year? Starting in June 2016, it started to rise quickly, with just a few bumps along the way.

Bitcoin Graph 2017
© coinmarketcap.com

An informative report by Forbes.com on this was as information-rich as the cryptocurrency is valuable. According to the magazine, there is growing interest in Bitcoin. More and more people are being introduced to it as well as Bitcoin’s industry acceptance. Sean Walsh of Redwood City Ventures said digital currencies are also benefiting from other trends. During times of political uncertainty, this asset class is looking more attractive.

Media Coverage

News coverage of Bitcoin is becoming broader, spurring greater interest. Iqbal Gandham, UK Managing Director at eToro, a multi-asset broker and social network trading company, similarly stated, “The sheer volume of news has increased.”

The Market Cap

According to CoinMarketCap, the total market cap of all digital currencies has risen sharply this year, reaching an all-time high of more than $178 billion. After hitting that level, Bitcoin’s total market cap has risen more than 900% YTD.

ICO Enthusiasm

ICO, or initial coin offerings, have been taking place on a more and more frequent basis. These innovative token sales have garnered more than $1 billion this year, according to figures by PitchBook and reported by Fortune in July. For some market participants, Bitcoin represents a safe haven in uncertain times.

Can I Get A (Segregated) Witness?

Lastly, another factor that has helped Bitcoin along is the community’s decision to implement Segregated Witness (SegWit), an upgrade increasing transaction capacity. SegWit allows Bitcoin’s blocks to hold more transactions by reducing their size. In other words, it allows Bitcoin to “release pressure” on the network.

Bitcoin Progress

In conclusion, Bitcoin overcame many hurdles in 2017, becoming more viable in the minds of investors. However, the most important milestone is that mainstream financial press is acknowledging the fact that digital currencies are not going away. It should come as no surprise since the world does so much business on the Internet. Maybe Bitcoin and other digital currencies will give us a new “digital currency standard”, harkening back to the days of the gold standard.