Bitcoin, one of the world’s most popular forms of cryptocurrency, has been surging in recent days. As of the morning of Wednesday, November 18, prices on the digital currency went over $18,000, just a few hundred dollars short of its $19,783.06 all-time high. It has since started to fall back toward $17,000, but this is the closest Bitcoin has been to reaching its previous record-setting heights since 2017.
Values over the past few days have fluctuated between $16,560 and $18,464. It’s not uncommon for wide fluctuations to occur, with the value of Bitcoin having gained near 70% this quarter. At the time of publication, one Bitcoin is worth $17,418.64. The all-time high, meanwhile, was recorded on December 17, 2017.
A lot of factors could be going into this surge in price. PayPal recently announced that it would be launching a new service enabling users to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin directly from a PayPal account. World events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as increased government spending, and high interest rates could be pushing the price higher. It’s also reported that due to COVID-19, investors are viewing cryptocurrency as a shelter from the stock market, according to the BBC.
Though such a price is high and profitable to “mine” with the right resources, Bitcoin can be quite a volatile form of cryptocurrency. Its price fluctuates and is almost unpredictable, often swinging wildly. Bitcoin values can also not really be predicted, as stocks or the value of the U.S. dollar can. For instance, after hitting the all-time high in late 2017, its values fluctuated down to as low as $3,122 in 2018, according to CNBC.
Other cryptocurrencies are trending high, too, but not as high as Bitcoin. Ether is worth $473.52, and Chainlink around $13.25. According to Gemini, that is a percentage increase of 0.68% and 3.72% in the past 24-hours alone.
The popularity and increase in the value of Bitcoin could also put stress on digital wallets that hold the currency for buyers, sellers, and hoarders. Coinbase, a popular digital currency exchange platform, faced outages early in the day on November 1. It later returned to full service shortly after, according to the company’s website.
Digital Trends does not offer investment advice on the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies.