It’s no exaggeration to say that bitcoin has never had a year like this.
At the beginning of 2017, bitcoin enthusiasts celebrated when the cryptocurrency closed in on its then all-time high of $1,216.7, set in 2013. Since then, it’s been month after month of record-breaking, confounding growth, accompanied by regular warnings from bankers about money laundering fears and bubble speculation.
Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, gave business journalists a gift from the news gods, serving up a series of negative sound bites on bitcoin. A number of countries also took a negative stance toward cryptocurrency, most notably China’s crackdowns on bitcoin exchanges and freezing initial coin offering funding in September.
But such action and criticism amounted to momentary dips in bitcoin value, as the cryptocurrency accelerated its rise in sequential fashion. It took the first five months of the year to top $2,000; bitcoin values spiked from $9,000 to $10,000 in just two days this week.
Though bankers largely have kept their distance, other institutions, including Nasdaq, are seizing on the opportunity to serve institutional investors looking to try the market.
The frenetic gains by bitcoin this month are now triggering calls for official action. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said “bitcoin is successful only because of its potential for circumvention, lack of oversight,
” and added that it "ought to be outlawed,” in a Bloomberg Television interview.
Bitcoin's exponential growth is reportedly even starting to worry the Fed
. But there’s no indication of action to curtail the market just yet.
To learn more about bitcoin's wild ride, scroll through our compilation of important milestones the cryptocurrency has experienced this year.