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Bitcoin surges past the $1,000 milestone

The digital currency’s stock has risen dramatically in the last year

Jim Kerr is Alberta Venture's web editor. Get in touch with him at jkerr@albertaventure.com.

Nov 27, 2013

by Jim Kerr

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for Bitcoin.

Not long after some surprisingly positive reviews from U.S. Congress, the digital currency hit a major milestone on Wednesday. Bitcoins are now valued at over $1,000 on Mt. Gox, the world’s most popular Bitcoin exchange.

That’s up 80-fold from where the currency sat less than a year ago.

Wired reports that increased demand from China is one of the major drivers of this growth, and the upbeat response from U.S. lawmakers last week can only help matters.

The Bitcoin discussion came up as part of the congressional hearings into the recent shutdown of The Silk Road, an online black market that relied heavily on the currency. The gist of those conversations was that while it’s been used in the past for illegal operations, there’s a potentially huge upside for the currency when more is known and understood by governments and financial institutions.

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For example, The Hill reports the U.S. Federal Election Commission hit a stalemate last week on a vote to allow Bitcoins to be donated to political campaigns.

“They’re not saying no; they’re not saying yes either,” said one expert quoted in the article.

Part of what makes this a complicated issue for governments is that in addition to being a currency, Bitcoin is also a payment system like PayPal. That means it falls into different regulatory areas, making its overall acceptance a more convoluted process.

With these latest developments in mind though, it seems only a matter of time before Bitcoin goes mainstream.

Want to know more about Bitcoin? Click here to read “A Bitcoin for your Thoughts” from our May issue.

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