After an extremely exciting 2017 for the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has smashed yet another milestone. This Tuesday, Bitcoin’s market capitalization surpassed $200 billion at a record price of $11,855.73 (according to CoinMarketCap.com). The $100 billion mark was passed only this October, two months ago. This brings the market cap of all cryptocurrencies to $356.9 billion.
To put things in perspective, the market cap of Coca-Cola is $200 billion, so the value of Bitcoin has officially surpassed that of Coca-Cola. It has also surpassed the value of all but 23 S&P 500 companies. And at the rate that Bitcoin is growing, its value could be at several times the S&P 500 within a year or two. And that’s what BTC investors are betting on – BTC becoming a currency that these companies, and other around the world, depend on. If Bitcoin can establish its use within business circumstances, it’ll surely be able to be worth more than the businesses that are using it. So far in 2017, Bitcoin is up 1,100%. Over the same time period, the S&P 500 is up 17%.
Although this insane growth is highly volatile, investors believe that investing in blockchain technology is akin to investing in the internet in the mid-1990s. Even the big banks are betting on it. This October, J.P. Morgan Chase launched a blockchain-based payments network. The network will be driven by a Chase-built technology called Quorum, which will release more information in the next year or so. But just because these companies are investing in Bitcoin technology, it doesn’t mean that they are investing in Bitcoin, the currency. In fact, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of J.P. Morgan and publicly denounced the cryptocurrency by calling it a fraud. He also said that any of his employees that were dabbling in Bitcoin would be fired! It can be difficult for non-finance-industry folk to understand the subtleties between what Bitcoin is and its technology, but for big businesses, the difference is crystal clear and the technology could add hundreds of billions of dollars to the US economy. Will Bitcoin keep rising? Maybe not, but the blockchain technology behind it is just getting started.