Bitcoin has experienced a sudden price hike in the gap of two days, the price raised to $400 in an hour to take the bitcoin value close to $7,000. Other major cryptocurrency – including Ethereum, ripple and bitcoin cash – mirrored the fortunes of bitcoin, with gains across the cryptocurrency market of between 5 and 15 per cent over the last 24 hours.
The turn-around follows months of steadily declining prices that have been punctuated by very few gains since the highs of 2017. The current price of $6,500 is only one third of bitcoin peak, which reached close to $20,000 in December. Cryptocurrency analysts suggest the recent price rises may hint at a wider recovery for cryptocurrencies, as more than half of virtual currencies experienced gains for the first time since May.
“While the total volume [traded] has dropped once again, this is the first week in a month that over half of the coin prices have increased,” Fred Schebesta, co-founder of personal finance firm Finder, said in a local-newspaper. “With 51 per cent of coins increasing in price, we may be seeing an end to the recent bearish trend.”
The price reversal follows recent good news in the cryptocurrency space, which has included the lifting of a ban on adverts on Facebook and predictions from a major bank that interest in the industry is set to double. Dutch banking giant ING published a consumer economic report last week that revealed 16 per cent of Europeans expect to own cryptocurrency in the future.
A survey of nearly 15,000 people across the continent suggests a gradual shift in attitude towards cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum. “Cryptocurrency remains an abstract investment for many, but there may be more appetite for digital currencies than some might suggest,” Jessica Exton, a behavioural scientist at ING, said at the time
“Based on a survey, ownership of cryptocurrency could more than double in the future – although we do not know when.”
The increase in adoption is likely to come when cryptocurrencies find use as actual currencies, rather than just speculative investments. One of the major stumbling blocks towards becoming a viable exchange of value, however, is their volatility.
Significant gains like those experienced over the last two days are therefore unlikely to speed up bitcoin mass adoption.