In a hectic day on Thursday, bitcoin leapt from below $16,000 to $19,500 in less than an hour on the U.S.-based GDAX, one of the biggest exchanges globally, while it was still changing hands at about $15,900 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp. Some market watchers attributed the lurch higher to the coming launch of bitcoin futures on major exchanges.
The person atop one of cryptocurrency’s most popular exchanges pleaded with people to invest responsibly. In a blog post on his site, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong sought to “remind customers of some of the risks associated with trading digital currency” — which include wild price swings.
The price of a single bitcoin soared this week from under $10,000 to more than $17,000 before slumping back down to around $15,000, according to data from CoinDesk, which values bitcoin based on data from four exchanges, including Coinbase.
On Coinbase’s exchange the price soared past $18,000 at one point.
Armstrong warned that the increased interest in cryptocurrencies, which was punctuated by a stunning bitcoin rally earlier this week, has led to “extreme volatility and stress on our systems.”
During the frenzy, Coinbase’s valuation was consistently higher than the CoinDesk index — at one point by a $2,000 margin. Even Saturday afternoon, Coinbase listed the price of a btc around $15,000, while the CoinDesk hovered around $14,700.
Bitcoin’s rise is mind-boggling considering just one year ago it traded for less than $800. At one point in 2011, it traded for about three bucks, according to CoinDesk. Its stunning ascent was driven in large part by increasing attention from mainstream investors. And bitcoin’s valuation has continued to balloon — with a few sharp dips — despite a smattering of warnings top economists and business leaders.
On a lighter note, as long as the money you have invested is dispensable, and you are not planning on buying any more just now, I suggest you forget about Btc for the next few weeks/month or two before even looking at the price again.