Bitcoin price has reached $3,000 for the first time ever in what is already a historic year of all-time highs which now sees the cryptocurrency gain 200% in value since January 2017.
Bitcoin trading at a handful of exchanges including Coinbase and Bitfinex have now hit or scaled beyond $3,000 following an uptick in prices during trading on Sunday. On a global average across major markets including Asia, the United States and Europe, the price of bitcoin hit an all-time high of $2,983.55, according to the BNC Index.
June began with prices roughly around the $2,300 mark. Trading value lingered predominantly between the $2,700-$2,850 mark throughout much of the past week after starting above $2,500 last Monday. Prices crept above $2,900 for a brief period on Saturday before gaining a foothold in the bull run the following day. Bitcoin price spiked afternoon on Sunday, jumping from $2,925 to touch $3,000 in just over 2 hours.
A continually upward demand among investors in Asian markets is helping fuel bitcoin’s bull run as China returns near the top of the global trading markets following the resumption of Bitcoin withdrawals in June. Further, there is no longer a premium on prices in the Japanese and Korean markets, the second and third largest trading markets in the world.
As has been reported frequently, the Japanese government has approved bitcoin as a legal method of payment, sparking a trend of adoption amid increasing awareness of bitcoin in the country. Such acknowledgement by authorities is significant for the precedent it could set for other countries like India, where bitcoin is yet to be legalized.
As Japan’s biggest banks trial their own digital currencies, major retailers are already trialing bitcoin payments at outlets. Japan, which sees less than 20% of its society adopting digital payments, now sees a mandate by its government to switch over to cashless payments. There is a strategy currently taking shape to double the adoption rate of digital payments to catch up to the likes of China, which sees over 50% of its population using digital payments. In May, low-cost international airline Peach became the first in Japan to accept bitcoin from travelers.
The cryptocurrency’s remarkable gains have not gone unnoticed in the mainstream. Last week, a year-to-day bitcoin price chart was spotted on the front-page of the Wall Street Journal, alongside gold.
Bitcoin’s run has also been helped by the meteoric rise in investments into alternative cryptocurrencies, led by Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple. The combined market cap of all cryptocurrencies struck $100 billion for the first time in history last week, growing over 500% since the turn of the year.
One analyst, who in 2016 correctly predicted bitcoin prices would scale $2,000 this year, has predicted the value of bitcoin to top $100,000 in 10 years. As things stand, bitcoin prices have tripled so far this year.