Eight days. That’s how long it took bitcoin BTCUSD, +3.11% back in April 2013, to rise from $100 for a single bitcoin to $200.
Fast forward four years and the cryptocurrency has reached an all-time high of $4,791.75 and has been scaling $100 milestones in a matter of hours on a routine basis. On Tuesday morning, the price of a single bitcoin was around $4,400; by Tuesday afternoon it had shot up to briefly top $4,700 for the first time.
While these milestones have become lesser and lesser accomplishments as bitcoin has continued to blaze along its upward path — bitcoin would now only need to rise 2.1% to go from $4,700 to $4,800, compared with 100% when it doubled to $200 — it is also indicative of just how astonishingly fast the digital currency has been rising this year. So fast we were barely able to fit all the milestones onto this whopper of a chart.
If that chart isn’t making bitcoin’s staggering ascent abundantly clear, here are some more stats that should do the job:
• One year ago, on Aug. 31, 2016, bitcoin was trading at $576.
• Which means bitcoin is up nearly 730% over the past 12 months.
• It closed 2016 trading at about $954.
• So, thus far in 2017, it is up 400%.
• Bitcoin started the month of August at $2,738.
• And has hit record after record this month, surging 74%.
• There have been nine days in 2017, five in August alone, in which bitcoin has scaled past several $100 milestones in a single day.
• At current levels, bitcoin has a market cap of $78.42 billion, larger than such companies as Starbucks Corp. SBUX, +0.62% and American Express Co. AXP, +0.48%
(All stats according to pricing site CoinDesk.)
This is where we’ll remind you that as the elder sibling of the cryptocurrency gang, bitcoin’s numbers actually pale in comparison to some of its brethren:
• Ether has soared more than 4,600% this year. Its total market cap stands at $36.1 billion.
• Bitcoin Cash, an offspring created in response to bitcoin’s transaction-size issue, has a market cap of nearly $9.8 billion. (Though it is down more than 30% from an all-time high above $860, hit on Aug. 19.)
• Ripple, at about $0.25, is up nearly 3,900% this year. Market cap at latest check: $9.3 billion.
• Litecoin, at about $71, is up over 1,550% since the beginning of this year, when it was trading at just over $4. Its market cap now stands at just under $3.7 billion.
Despite the records, cryptocurrency trading has been extremely volatile this year. Bitcoin recently dropped more than 10%, briefly putting it into correction territory before it subsequently rebounded. Still…
• The combined market cap of all digital currencies is above $170 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.
• And it has grown by more than $20 billion in the past eight days.
• At current levels, the crypto market cap amounts to nearly one-tenth the value of the physical stock of official gold.