Bitcoin has been trading north of $780 per coin, reaching levels not seen since 2013, when it traded over $1,100 per coin.
Bitcoin itself was riven by an internal dispute over how best to scale up its transaction capacity. As bold-faced names from bitcoin’s technical community quit dramatically, rival cryptocurrencies like ethereum, which boasts more powerful features including the ability to execute “smart contracts,” emerged. It seemed bitcoin, with its endless bickering and faltering price, was destined for the rubbish heap of digital currencies. Silicon Valley lost interest. All the while, though, bitcoin volatility fell to record lows; exchanges continued to professionalize (even the hacked ones); bank-backed blockchain projects failed to emerge from their labs; and rival currencies began to fall by the wayside. Ethereum, for example, imploded after a bold experiment in self-governing corporations went wrong. Against this backdrop, Bitcoin’s price quietly began to rise.