The price of Bitcoin has surged in recent days, sending the cryptocurrency value soaring. With a high value of $53,750 per coin as traded on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, the combined value of all existing coins is now $1 trillion dollars.
This means that Bitcoin’s market capitalization rivals some of the top and most well-known technology companies, including Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is valued at $1.42 trillion, for comparison, putting Bitcoin within striking distance of it if the cryptocurrency’s price continues to rise, while Amazon’s current market capitalization is $1.67 trillion and Microsoft’s value sits at $1.82 trillion.
At $1 trillion, Bitcoin’s market value when counting all the coins in circulation, is double what the currency’s value was at the start of 2021. At the beginning of the year, Bitcoin was at $500 million. So in a little more than two months time, Bitcoin’s combined earn market value is nearly the same as Citibank’s highly publicized and embarrassing $500 million blunder.
However, for Bitcoin to catch up to Apple, which is the world’s most valuable company, it would have to once again double today’s valuations. Apple’s market capitalization stands at $2.18 trillion.
The rise in Bitcoin’s value is also spilling into other adjacent cryptocurrencies, as Ethereum mining is also picking up steam. To the disdain of gamers, miners of the Ethereum currency have been snapping up hard-to-find graphics cards to build their mining rigs. The situation got so bad that Nvidia was forced to create software locks on its most recent GPUs to deter miners and try to reserve the limited inventory of graphics cards for the company’s gaming customers. Separately, Nvidia also created a dedicated crypto-mining processor specific for Ethereum mining.
The cryptocurrency market has experienced a renewed interest in recent months. Notably, Tesla had made a $1.5 billion bet on Bitcoin, with CEO Elon Musk saying that cryptocurrency is slightly better than holding cash.
“Having some Bitcoin, which is simply a less dumb form of liquidity than cash, is adventurous enough for an S&P500 company,” Musk wrote in a tweet, noting that Tesla’s recent moves in the cryptocurrency market are “not directly reflective of my opinion.”
Tesla also announced that it will also accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for its electric vehicles.
That said, Musk doesn’t seem as enthusiastic about Bitcoin as the company he helms.
“To be clear, I am not an investor, I am an engineer,” the CEO said in a subsequent tweet. “I don’t even own any publicly traded stock besides Tesla. However, when fiat currency has negative real interest, only a fool wouldn’t look elsewhere. Bitcoin is almost as bs as fiat money. The key word is ‘almost.’”
Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, however, takes a more neutral view on Bitcoin, according to his statement in a recent CNBC interview. Gates admitted that he, however, doesn’t own Bitcoin, opting instead to focus his energy on his philanthropic endeavors.
Analysts still appear divided on their view of Bitcoin. Some claim that breaking the $1 trillion asset cap could lead the currency to climb higher — even as high as $200 trillion or $400 trillion, according to Swan Bitcoin CEO Cory Kippsten in a reportby Forbes. Others, like analysts from JP Morgan, view the meteoric rise as unsustainable.
Aside from corporations and institutional investors, there have been a lot of new individuals who are finding interest in cryptocurrency, with crytpcurrency exchange company Binance citing more than 300,000 new user registrations daily and volumes that are even higher than at the currency’s former peak in 2017, according to a Business Insider report.