Bitcoin has enjoyed another surge in value over the last week or so. At the weekend the value of this most well known cryptocurrency surpassed US$4000 for the first time ever. At the time of writing it is worth US$4200 (or GBP£3235). The official BTC price chart is available here.
The last time Bitcoin was in the HEXUS news was a little under a month ago. At that time we were reporting that GPU miners were selling off graphics cards as both BTC and ETH values had dropped rather drastically. The figures showed that BTC had dropped at $1863 from a high of nearly $3000, and ETH had dropped to $135 from a high of nearly $400. Both had suffered these huge declines from their highs within a month's trading. Today's headline news is the ascent of BTC, but ETH hasn't bounced back to the same degree (currently $301). ETH has more impact on the GPU market.
So what is behind the volatility and the recent steep climb in BTC values? According to TechCrunch, BTC came out "essentially unscathed" after the currency was hard forked, creating the new Bitcoin Cash. Secondly Bitcoin locked in SegWit code which aided flexibility and freed up space in blocks. Both moves now complete, traders have renewed confidence in BTC and its future. Further volatility comes from 'initial coin offerings' of rival cryptocurrencies raking in hundreds of millions within hours, and traders from Wall Street jumping into trading in BTC now it's an ever present feature of channels like CNBC.
It would be great to know what's next for either BTC or ETH as there's lots of money to be made if you time your trades right. With return on savings so low and the GBP forecast for parity with the Euro in the next few months it might be tempting to change some savings into cryptocurrencies - but don't speculate with more than you can comfortably lose.