One Bitcoin will be worth more than $100,000 by the end of 2018 after going up in price by a factor of 10.
That’s the claim from Dave Chapman, managing director of the cryptocurrency trading firm Octagon Strategy, who believes the digital cash is only set to grow in value.
‘I wouldn’t be surprised to see a six-figure headline,’ he told CNBC.
‘I was quoted back in August when bitcoin was trading at around $4,000 (£2993) that we would have a five-figure headline by the end of this year,” he added.
‘I think a lot of people thought I was crazy, a lot of people scoffed at me, but that’s OK.’
The price of Bitcoin started this year below $1,000, but last year alone it jumped from $11,000 to well over $17,000, according to Coindesk. Last night, a Chicago-based firm called Cboe Global Markets’ launched the first mainstream regulated Bitcoin exchange. It proved so popular that the website suffered an outage due to levels of demand. Bitcoin was set up in 2008 by a person or group of people who call themselves Satoshi Nakamoto and was the first digital currency to successfully use cryptography to keep transactions secure and hidden, making traditional financial regulation difficult if not impossible. Central bankers and critics of the cryptocurrency have been ringing the alarm bells over the surge in the price and other risks including whether the opaque market can be used for money laundering.
‘It looks remarkably like a bubble forming to me,’ the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Acting Governor Grant Spencer said on Sunday.
‘We’ve seen them in the past. Over the centuries we’ve seen bubbles and this appears to be a bit of a classic case.’
Many investors have stood on the sidelines watching its price rocket. However, it is possible to buy bitcoin without having to spend the full price of one coin.
Bitcoin’s smallest unit is a Satoshi, named after the elusive creator of the cryptocurrency.
Somebody who invested $1,000 (£748) in bitcoin at the start of 2013 and had never sold any of it would now be sitting on around $1.2 million (£898,000).
The distraught owner of a laptop containing $100 million (£74m) Bitcoins is begging Newport Council to let him dig for it in his local rubbish dump because he threw it away when the currency was worth significantly less.
Welsh IT worker James Howells even has investors willing to finance the search in return for a slice of the cryptocurrency.