In this week’s bitcoin review, we take a look at the rise in bitcoin price and some trouble in the world of altcoins.
Over the $500 mark
Maybe a little bit of rest is just what market needed. With no major scandals or threats of regulation from China, the price of bitcoin has crossed the $500 mark this week — hitting numbers we haven’t really seen since late March, with the exception of a small blip in April. Perhaps there’s some renewed optimism at play after the major Bitcoin 2014 conference in Amsterdam last week and also BitPay’s large funding round.
Meanwhile, the altcoin world has seen a bit of shuffling of its leaderboard: We’re now seeing the rise of Darkcoin. Bitcoin’s “shadowy” cousin is gaining traction in a big way, with its value shooting from $0.75 to more than $7 in only a month, according to Wired’s Andy Greenberg. It’s now moved into the third place position behind LiteCoin and Bitcoin on CoinMarketCap.com in terms of volume in the last 24 hours.
Take a look at its market cap and price graph in the past week:
Everyone’s favorite meme-inspired currency Dogecoin didn’t have a great week. The community does rally behind its market message of “One doge equals one doge” so it shouldn’t be too much of a worry, though.
The real surprise this week came from the Ripple network. Its co-founder Jed McCaleb (who originally also owned the MtGox exchange) supposedly announced on a forum that he was selling 9 million Ripple Coins (XRP): “I plan to start selling all of my remaining XRP beginning in two weeks. Because I have immense respect for the community members and want to be transparent, I’m publicly announcing this before I start. So just fyi…. xrp sales incoming.”
The price of Ripple then plunged as the co-founder donated some of his XRP holdings and liquidated the rest. The WSJ reported that McCaleb owned 9 billion out of the 100 billion Ripple coins initially created.
The market this week
It was obviously a good week for the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin climbed 7.54 percent between Wednesday and Thursday, to close at $526.06. Since then, it’s been holding steady in the $500 range, with the price around $530 as of 8 a.m. PST.
For background on why we’re using Coindesk’s Bitcoin Price Index, see the note at the bottom of the post.
Here are some of the best reads from around the web this week:
- Marc Andreessen is already quite prolific about bitcoin on Twitter, but the Washington Post sat the venture capitalist down for an interview on all things tech, including his favorite cryptocurrency.
- This week in businesses that accept bitcoin, we have flower company BloomNation, the San Jose Earthquakes professional soccer team and the D Las Vegas Casino Hotel, which is installing Robocoin ATMs in its casino.
- Bitcoin mining equipment is typically a loud and expensive roommate to have. Ars Technica details a new startup that lets you buy mining equipment and then operates it for you — for less than you normally pay for electricity.
- Keep an eye out for Ebay to start accepting bitcoin payments. Its CEO hinted at the prospect last week at the Bitcoin 2014 conference in Amsterdam.
Bitcoin in 2014
The history of bitcoin’s price
A note on our data: We use CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index to obtain both a historical and current reflection of the Bitcoin market. The BPI is an average of the three Bitcoin exchanges which meet their criteria: Bitstamp, BTC-e and Bitfinex. To see the criteria for inclusion or for price updates by the minute, visit CoinDesk. Since the market never closes, the “closing price” as noted in the graphics is based on end of day Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or British Summer Time (BST).
Photo from Arina Habich/Pond5