Despite warnings of bubbles and reports of security breaches, the price of bitcoin continues to rise.
Is there any sign that the crypto bandwagon is running out of steam or are we likely to see the valuation break the $10,000 mark this side of Christmas?
Nicholas Gregory, CEO of cryptocurrency enabler CommerceBlock, certainly thinks the momentum is there to do so but does not think it is a cause for celebration.
“Few would bet against bitcoin hitting $10,000 before the 25th (December) but many in the crypto industry won’t be punching the air when we get there. Real proponents of cryptocurrency aren’t interested in bitcoin’s price. Widespread adoption is the big prize and too much hype only puts ordinary people off.
"Bitcoin passing the $9,000 mark will spark more talk of a crash. However, it’s important to remember that a correction is certain sooner or later. A bubble popping and a viable longer-term future are not mutually exclusive. We've seen this with the dotcom bubble.
"In fact, a correction is essential. Otherwise bitcoin would be the world’s first currency for which price discovery felt like an impossibility, detached from the world of fundamentals that would render it useless longer term.
Upsurge in accounts
Gregory points out that Coinbase adding 100,000 accounts in a 48-hour period last week around Thanksgiving showed bitcoin hadn't just captured the public's imagination but its wallet, too.
"It's a development that symbolises the shift we’ve been hoping for, namely the widespread adoption of bitcoin by people and business that could ultimately see it replace pounds, pence, dollars and cents.”
To put the rise of Bitcoin in context, speculation in 2014 was whether the valuation would break through the $1,000 barrier.
Billionaire trader and hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz predicted earlier in 2017 that the bitcoin price will reach $10,000 before the end of the year.
He maintains that bitcoin has value for the same reasons that gold does: scarcity, distrust of the central banking system, and consensus.
Novogratz has gone on record as stating he believes mainstream financial firms are preparing to make a splash in the bitcoin markets and ecosystem.