Bitcoin explodes above $18,000, taking its market capitalization to an all-time high — and it's even exciting Hollywood

Bitcoin explodes above $18,000, taking its market capitalization to an all-time high — and it's even exciting Hollywood
REUTERS/Baz Ratner
  • Bitcoin rose above $18,000 on Wednesday, to its highest in three years, and its market capitalization has hit an all-time record of $336 billion.
  • The price has closed above $17,000 on only five other days in history, Deutsche Bank analysts said.
  • Frenzy over its price caught the attention of Hollywood celebrity Maisie Williams, who ran a Twitter poll Tuesday on whether she should buy Bitcoin.
  • Events triggering Bitcoin's price surge include improvement in mainstream acceptance and President-elect Joe Biden appointing crypto-friendly Gary Gensler to oversee Wall Street regulations, an OANDA analyst said.

Bitcoin exploded above $18,000 on Wednesday, taking its market capitalization to an all-time high.

The price of the digital token surged 2.5% to $18,147 around 6:15 a.m. ET, and its price is up about 154% year-to-date. Bitcoin recorded its highest price ever in December 2017, hitting $19,783.

The digital asset's market capitalization has hit a new high of $336 billion, eclipsing its previous record of $328 billion set in late 2017, according to data from Coin Gecko.

Bitcoin has closed above $17,000 for only five other days in history, according to Deutsche Bank analysts.

The currency's latest surge began in October after PayPal announced it would allow its users to buy, sell, and hold the token. Crypto bulls said it was only a matter of time before other major firms adopt its use. The frenzy even led to "Game of Thrones" star Maisie Williams recently taking a poll on Twitter on whether she should buy Bitcoin.


The billionaire investor Mike Novogratz responded, saying he expected its price to first hit $20,000 before getting to $65,000 because of a "network effect" in which there were a ton of new buyers and low supply. "So YES, buy it," he said.

Read More: JPMorgan shares 35 European stocks across 10 sectors that you need to own in the rotation to value — including one that could see EPS growth of almost 700% next year

But some seem to think this might just be a bubble, and its price could crash at some point.

"It's surely only a matter of time until a new high is achieved," said Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at OANDA Europe. "Although there's something about the immense gains of the last month that make me a little nervous, given past experience."

The price of Bitcoin has risen by more than a third so far in November. Since the start of October, it's gained around 70%.


Many analysts, including Erlam, expect the price to top $20,000, with some expecting even higher levels.

Bitcoin is now "ready to retest its all-time high and possibly move above $20k," said Ian Balina, CEO of AI-driven cryptocurrency research firm Token Metrics. "That is well within means for BTC as the global economic climate is perfect for bitcoin to launch to new heights."

Bitcoin seems to have everything going right for it, according to Edward Moya, another senior analyst at OANDA. That's largely because mainstream acceptance is improving, President-elect Biden appointed Gary Gensler, someone viewed as friendly towards cryptocurrencies, to oversee Wall Street Regulations, and steady institutional interest, he pointed out.

Read More: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 20 deeply underpriced stocks now before the recovery helps them rebound and crush Wall Street's low expectations in 2021