Bitcoin Surpasses The $10,000 Mark And Hits The Mainstream
Yesterday the crypto currency Bitcoin surpassed the $10,000 mark and this means that the currency has now become widely accepted amongst the mainstream fraternity of investors. With several hedge funds and billionaires scrambling to get on board the ladder, the price has ssen a steady climb from $8000 at the beginning of the month to $10500 at the end of November. Many commentators and financial analysts are comparing this trend to the rise of the internet in 1994. Investors and analysts alike will spend the day discussing whether the bitcoin price is a "speculative bubble" or finally approaching its fair value, but one fact is undeniable: Bitcoin is becoming mainstream.
Welcome to 1994As BlockTower Capital executive Ari Paul wrote in a recent Forbes op-ed, Bitcoin - both as a protocol and an asset - is at roughly the same level of development and adoption as the internet was in 1994.
Source: Forbes/BlocktowerLess than one percent of the world's population is currently using bitcoin, but that number has swelled this year due to the network effect and services offering an improved user experience, much as mass internet adoption first began in 1994 - when the number of websites "exploded" to 2,738 from 130 the previous year.
That was also the year the Today Show broadcast its famous "What Is the Internet, Anyway?" segment, which - thanks to the internet - has been preserved for posterity. Those few thousand websites provided the average consumer with his or her first true incentive to obtain internet access, which for most people was sending an email to the growing number of friends, colleagues, and relatives with a network-connected computer. Innovation brought countless more use cases over the years - use cases that arguably eclipse email in importance - but they never could never have materialized without those first mainstream users finding a reason to join the network. Similarly, bitcoin has long dazzled users with the promise of future development, but this year it has proven that it can function as a "Swiss bank in your pocket," the first turnkey use case to resonate with the broader mainstream public. Indeed, we have already seen its utility as a store of value - and to some extent, an uncensorable medium of exchange - in hyperinflated economies such as Venezuela and Zimbabwe.