Bitcoin Briefly Crests $3,000 Milestone As Cryptocurrency Market Explodes


Early adopters of Bitcoin who horded as much of the cryptocurrency as they could and then sat back have reason to celebrate today. The volatile digital currency topped the $3,000 mark over the weekend. While the value of Bitcoin has been known to see big spikes (and drops), this was this first time it breached $3,000 since the cryptocurrency was introduced in 2009.

Reaching the new milestone was not wholly unexpected. Bitcoin had been trending between $2,700 and $2,900 during the past week before leaping over the $3,000 hurdle, albeit briefly. To put the milestone into perspective, you could have purchased 5,000 Bitcoins in 2009 for a measly $27, as one Norwegian man did who forgot about them until years later when that investment was worth $980,000. That was in 2013. At the $3,000 mark, those 5,000 Bitcoins would be worth $15 million.

Bitcoin's rise to $3,000 coincides with growing interest in alternative currencies. Ethereum, a newer type of cryptocurrency, has also skyrocketed to record levels—it was trading at more than $407 on Monday, a 5,000 percent rise since the beginning of the year.

"The inflows into 'alts' are greater than those into bitcoin. In other words, bitcoin is growing at a very nice pace, but non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies are growing even faster," cryptocurrency hedge fund manager Tim Enneking told CoinDesk.
Where cyrptocurrencies such as Bitcoin go from here is up for debate. Some analysts feel that Bitcoin is heavily overvalued. Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of Shark Tank, is also skeptical about Bitcoin. However, not everyone is sour on digital currencies. Saxo Bank went on record saying it believes Bitcoin could balloon in value to over $100,000 in the next decade.