The world’s biggest cryptocurrency reached its latest milestone Thursday, as the value of bitcoin surged past $5,000. Coming only two months after the currency reached $4,000, Thursday’s landmark is the latest testament to bitcoin’s meteoric rise.
While the currency did appear to reach $5,000 for a few minutes in September, this is the first sustained period where its value has cleared that mark. And with considerable room to spare — as of press time, bitcoin’s value was hovering $5,300. As for why the currency experienced such a big surge Thursday, TechCrunch’s Fitz Tepper speculated it’s because of recent attention from banks and the media.
While it’s always hard to pinpoint what exactly is causing price movements, many think that institutional interest is playing a major role in this extended rally. Many Wall Street banks have recently expressed interest (or disinterest) in the cryptocurrency, and mainstream financial media like CNBC have been talking about bitcoin just as much as any other traditional security.
To put bitcoin’s rise into perspective, its all-time high was $1,400 as recently as this April. The currency passed $2,000 for the first time on May 20, $3,000 on August 5, and $4,000 on August 12. By those standards, the fact it took two whole months to break $5,000 is almost slow, but the currency proved resilient after China took steps against cryptocurrencies in September.
Bitcoin does face a potentially serious near-term issue, as the currency may be headed for another split, or fork, in November as miners will vote on another potential change to the currency’s protocol.