Bitcoin is ending the year on a good note, with the total value of bitcoin in circulation reaching more than $14 billion on Thursday (Dec. 22), setting an all-time high for the alternative digital currency.
According to a report, the value of bitcoin increased 5 percent alone on Thursday, reaching its highest levels in three years and more than doubling in price. One bitcoin was trading at $875 on the Europe-based Bitstamp exchange, according to the report. That’s the highest level since Jan. 2014. At the beginning of the year, bitcoin was valued at $435 for one bitcoin. The report pointed to the depreciation of the Chinese yuan as the growth driver for bitcoin. That’s because the majority of bitcoin trading is conducted in China. While bitcoin is poised for a record Thursday, it is still far off its peaks seen in late 2013 when the currency was worth a high of $1,163 on the Bitstamp exchange, noted the report.
The good news on the bitcoin front may prompt more bitcoin mining if the past is any prediction of the future. In January, bitcoin mining grew in popularity as the price of bitcoin increased. According to reports back then, bitcoin mining gains more popularity as it increases in value. When bitcoin was at its peak in 2013 (over $1,100), there were more resources to invest in the practice (adding transactions to bitcoin’s public ledger, AKA the blockchain). What happened in 2013 resulted in a lot of new bitcoin being generated and the value of the digital currency skyrocketing from basically nothing to making some successful miners very wealthy. And then, bitcoin hit a slump, diving in 2015 to a low of $183, which put a lot of individual miners out of the industry.