A month ago bitcoin was trading at $1,180. A week ago it was $1,422, this morning’s price is $1,700 and moving higher. That now gives bitcoin a market cap of nearly $28 billion up from $21B in the last year.
I attributed the recent run up last week to the French election and the possibility of France moving away from the euro with a Marine Le Pen victory, however the Emmanuel Macron win has done little to stifle the price gains.
In the broader US markets, the fear index has become complacent as the VIX is at a 24-year low, resting comfortably in the single digits. Stocks have been trading in a tight range over the last two weeks and precious metals have taken it on the chin with no appreciation over the same time frame.
So what is the driver behind the digital currency?
Supply may be behind some of the price appreciation as the original bitcoin code written in 2008 put a mechanism in to reduce the number of new bitcoins available now to combat price inflation.
This went into effect last summer, so today we are seeing less new coins being mined in year-over-year comparison, while acceptance is growing wider as Japan earlier this month gave approval for bitcoin to be accepted as payment for certain goods and services.
Certainly reduced supply and growing demand are a strong catalyst for price appreciation, and from some of the analysis I am seeing buyers are outweighing sellers by a 3-1 margin, again good for price rise.
But to gap up nearly $100 a day with little pullback or resistance seems to have something more behind the price surge. So I’ll keep looking.