As of December 30th, 2016 Bitcoin was priced at (BTC) $960 USD. Within a year, the price had escalated to 1,941 percent, reaching a staggering $19,600 across global exchanges. Today, Bitcoin is worth an estimated $13-$14K. Aside from Bitcoin’s notable price increase, this year posed a significant evolution in cryptocurrencies.
2017 the year Bitcoin reached 1900% price
To say cryptocurrencies have had an amazing course this year is an understatement. Now, the total landscape of 1,368 digital assets dominates a massive $585Bn market capitalization. A radical change worth noting was when Bitcoin was worth $960 per coin, taking over 90% of market capitalization of all 1,300 altcoins. Today, the metric is significantly lower. It was the single cryptocurrency that was valued at $14.1Bn last December 25, 2016, and a market cap of more than a billion dollars.
As of December 25, 2016, Ethereum was priced at $7.29 per token, with a determined market value of $635Bn. And as of 2017, it commanded an estimated capitalization of $72Bn. Today, Bitcoin’s core dominates over 38 percent market valuation, with the top 32 cryptocurrency market caps owning more than a billion per piece. Almost each month of 2017, the market valuation of Bitcoin escalates. However, BTC has also lost some share over market capitalization that year.
Central Bank of China crackdown
At the onset of 2017 when Bitcoin was valued at $1,100 per coin, the economy underwent a major shift as China’s central bank began to restrain exchanges of Chinese Bitcoin. In the first week of January, the price of Bitcoin fluctuated from $1,100 per coin to just under the $800 price mark, only later recovering by the end of the month at a price range of over $1K. After January, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has since ceased all Chinese cryptocurrencies exchanges in favor of renminbi trading. And as of March 2, Bitcoin’s price had surpassed the one troy ounce price of .999 gold, a milestone that thrilled bitcoin investors.
Exposure of Bitcoin’s milestone in mainstream media
In May 4, 2017, BTC rose beyond the $1,500 price range, as demands expanded across countries such as Japan, Russia, and India. Since then, bitcoin has garnered exposure from mainstream media, with Bitcoin stories increasingly highlighted. As of May 20, the price of Bitcoin has surpassed the $2,000 per BTC price range all throughout global exchanges. Since this notable feat, Bitcoin has gained further media leverage, with reputable publications like Time Magazine, Bloomberg, New York Times, Fortune, and other publications headlining more Bitcoin stories week after week. In the same month, the Bitcoin network has also achieved another significant juncture as it exceeded beyond four exahash per second hashrate. At this point, the token value of the Ethereum community has multiplied almost at the brink of “flipping” the market capitalization share of Bitcoin.
The Barry Silbert compromise and the introduction of hard fork increase
The spring paved way to the conception of Bitcoin Unlimited, an alternate codebase protocol. At this time, there has been a growing debate over “forking” away from the network. By the end of May, the Segwit2x roadmap was introduced as a result of the “Barry Silbert compromise,” more controversially known as the “New York Agreement.” Commencing in August, the initial idea was to integrate Segregated Witness, which will then be followed three months later by a 2MB increase in hard fork. At the onset, the idea of Segwit was well received by the community up until its integration, but the 2MB block size increase was later deserted by the group supporters and core developers. In the end, the project was aborted two weeks prior to the scheduled hard fork implementation.
Between the 2nd and 3rd of July, Bitcoin’s core market price broke the price range of $2,500, during which time discussions over transaction ran into a jam, intensifying the fee market even more. Debates escalated further when implementations of alternate Bitcoin protocols like Bcoin began to emerge. The summer was marked by increasing talks over introducing user activated hard fork (UAHF), user activated soft fork (UASF), and the implementation of Segwit2x.
Conception of Bitcoin Cash
The project lead developer disclosed that a hard fork will be introduced on the 1st of August, one that would give rise to Bitcoin Cash (BCH). On that day, the BCH network was brought to life, as Segwit was aborted. The BCH network produced cryptocurrency with a block size limit of 8MB, with a history akin to the legacy chain. By August 5, Bitcoin Core’s price skyrocketed to a staggering $3K range, resulting in even fiercer scaling arguments. Meanwhile, the BCH network was advancing in its first week, with a $200-$300 trading per token.
Forking takes hold of ecosystem
In as little as over a week, the exchange price of BTC was $4K per coin, escalating to a 1,000 dollar boost. At this juncture, the whole market dominance of BTC was valued at an estimated $66Bn, its market cap commanding 47 percent of the entire cryptocurrency market cap of $134Bn. The conception of Bitcoin Cash also paved way to the birth of ‘snapshot clones’ and other bitcoin forks. Following Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold was also launched, providing a GPU mineable bitcoin, as well as pre-mine. There are a number of forked Bitcoin thus far, but a major fraction still only have a handful of infrastructures or has yet to have an operating network. Bitcoin’s codebase has produced offshoot forks including gold, platinum, ruby, lightning, diamond, and the most recent addition ‘revival’ Segwit2x snapshot.
Bitcoin climbs to $10K per BTC
As of October, BTC’s price has achieved a steady $5,000 per coin, exceeding mid month’s $6K range. Additionally, Bitcoin has garnered worldwide attention, with Google Trend reporting an immense increase of interest. Since December of 2016, Bitcoin is gaining more attention across the world as evidenced by more than a million bitcoin wallets created week after week.
By November 28, Bitcoin has well exceeded many crypto-supporters’ expectation as its price skyrocketed to as much as $10,000 per BTC. That day, its market cap beat the $167B mark, with bitcoin trade volume increasing over $6.3B in the BTC market. From that point, bitcoin has seen a stable increase. By the early morning of November 29, it has reached well over $11,395. After another week, Bitcoin has escalated in value of as much as 1,100 percent in the course of the entire year, while BTC’s price rose to its $12,000 mark. And on December 6, its overall value peaked an all-time high of another 1,000 increase, reaching a global exchange of up to $13K. In that week, Wall Street Journal featured Bitcoin in its front page with the headline: “Bitcoin Mania: Even Grandma Is In!”
BTC peaks close to $20,000
In that same day, BTC broke its own record of $13,000 per coin as it reached its $14,000 mark. At this point, Japanese and Korean currency commanded the markets in terms of national currencies versus BTC. By the end of December 6, Bitcoin’s price has seen an incredible increase of well over $15K. By then, the community was well aware of an ongoing plan to produce bitcoin derivative products specifically for mainstream investors. This was announced by two of the most influential FX exchanges in world, CME group and Cboe. In the week that followed, bitcoin has seen a $2K increase. And finally, between the 16th and 17th of December, it has peaked an astonishing $19,600 per BTC.
Mempool backlog and increase miner fees
Concurrent to Bitcoin’s monumental milestones, the core network of Bitcoin experienced an enormous amount of mempool backlog of over 250,000 unverified transactions, its fees per transaction increasing well over its $30-$40 median average. Bitcoin Cash began in August at a $200-$300 value per token, with an average fee of 0.02 per transaction, but escalated to as high as $4K per BCH by the end of December. BCH integration has also been observed in huge cryptocurrency companies such as Bitpay, Blockchain Wallet, Coinbase, and Bitsamp. This further increased its ecosystem value. In November, a significant change has been seen in the difficulty adjustment algorithm after BCH network’s successful completion of hard fork. Akin to the “Ethereum flippening” last spring, new discussions have been opened among the cryptocurrency community regarding “cashening,” another market share flipping effect.
2017 was one of the most exhilarating ride in the crypto-solutions thus far
At present, Bitcoin Core markets fluctuate to an estimated $13,000-$14,000, as Bitcoin Cash yields an average of $2,430 per BCH. In the week leading to Christmas, the value of cryptocurrency markets dipped at 40 percent. Last week, BTC’s price dropped across global exchanges to a base of $11,500. Today, all cryptocurrency markets have grown considerably in strength and stability. Whatever 2018 brings, this year has definitely been an exhilarating journey to say the least for crypto-solutions and blockchain technology.