Last week, former hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz predicted bitcoin would cross the $10,000 mark by the end of this year (it was worth around $8,300 at the time). And venture capitalist Tim Draper made the same prediction three years ago, when it was worth around $424.
Right now it looks like those were good calls. Bitcoin zoomed past $9,000 early Sunday, and at this rate it could break the $10,000 barrier before the month is out. At the time of writing on Monday morning, the price of one bitcoin is $9,760.
It’s worth remembering that the same cryptocurrency unit was worth around $730 a year ago. That’s a 1,240% annual increase—not that it hasn’t been a seriously bumpy road.
“$10k is on the cards and bitcoin seems to be straining at the leash to reach it,” Charles Hayter of the cryptocurrency data analysis service Cryptocompare told Reuters.
Hayter also noted how the likely introduction of bitcoin futures trading on the CME has helped the virtual currency’s recent surge, saying: “Promises of bitcoin futures opening the door to institutional money are supercharging the price.” The CME’s bitcoin derivatives rollout is scheduled for the second week of December.
Another factor, of course, is the ease with which people can get into the bitcoin game—or bubble, as it may well turn out—these days. The U.S.’s largest bitcoin exchange, Coinbase, reportedly added around 100,000 accounts around Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.