It’s official: bitcoin has reached the mainstream.
On Tuesday (November 28), the digital currency reached a “historical milestone” by surging past $10,000 for the first time in its history to reach $10,091.90, representing a 947 percent increase since January 1, when it was $963.66.
As such, bitcoin’s latest price escalation confirms–if nothing else–that the digital currency is certainly making a case for itself on becoming a legitimate financial asset.
“With bitcoin nearing $10,000, long-time bitcoiners finally feel vindicated that their currency that has been ridiculed for years, is at last being taken seriously,” said Sol Lederer, blockchain director at LOOMIA told Reuters.
While Lederer stated that bitcoin’s future remains “uncertain” and faces the same kind of technical challenges it has for years, “it’s apparent that bitcoin is here to stay,” he said.
Case in point, Michael Novogratz, former Fortress hedge fund manager told CNBC on Monday (November 27), that the cryptocurrency would very well multiply by more than four times over the next year or so.
“Bitcoin could be at $40,000 at the end of 2018. It easily could,” Novogratz said on CNBC’s “Fast Money.”
As Forbes reported on Tuesday, bitcoin’s market cap of $169 million already makes it more valuable than companies such as Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), which is currently worth $156 billion, and Merck (NYSE:MRK), valued at $149 billion. In terms of the market cap size for cryptocurrencies, as of 5:36 p.m. EST on Tuesday the market cap for all digital coins totaled $313 billion. Looking in 2018, Novogratz told CNBC he expects that could reach $2 trillion by the end of next year.
In a previous interview with the Investing News Network (INN), Ronnie Moas, founder of Standpoint Research, also said he expects the cryptocurrency market to be a $2 trillion industry in the next few years, adding that could put bitcoin between the $50,000-$100,000 range in the next 10 years.
Shorter term, however, Charles Hayter, co-founder of CryptoCompare was quoted saying by Forbes that the digital currency’s next price target is $20,000.
“A lot of investors will be kicking themselves for not jumping on board sooner,” Hayter said.
Looking into 2018, Business Insider reported that popular consensus is that traditional financial-service firms will “pour into the market.”
“2018 is the year when things start moving with regards to institutions moving into the market and dominating it,” Bartek Ringwelski, the US COO of bitFlyer told the publication.
As of 6:22 p.m. EST on Tuesday, bitcoin had dropped slightly to $9,921.21.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.