Bitcoin Buoyant as Price Surges Past $500

Nermin Hajdarbegovic
May 22, 2014 at 09:38 UTC
Updated May 28, 2014 at 11:02 UTC

Bitcoin passed the $500 mark for the first time in weeks this morning. At press time, the price stood at $513.93 – down from a peak of $518.22 a short time earlier.

The Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) has been climbing steadily since 20th May and started nearing the psychologically important threshold at around 6.00am (BST) today.

Coindesk bpi chart

Apart from a brief spike in mid-April, bitcoin has been trading south of the $500 mark since late March.

Renewed optimism

A number of positive developments over the past couple of weeks helped reverse the negative narrative and bring back a healthy dose of optimism.

The Bitcoin2014 conference in Amsterdam was a widely considered a success and received significant coverage. The same is true of BitPay’s recent record-breaking series-A funding round, which saw the payment processor raise $30m in investment.

There were some positive developments on the regulatory front too, and Circle finally revealed its product roadmap aimed at the mainstream market.

What comes next?

It is difficult to make any predictions, but the renewed optimism and positive media buzz are encouraging. Bitcoin got a lot of negative coverage following the arrest of Charlie Shrem, the collapse of Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox and regulatory clampdown in China.

All these factors contributed to a massive price slide earlier this year. However, for all the talk of bitcoin volatility and hype-fed bubble, the price has remained relatively stable since the slump.

A month ago the price stood at $484, a month before that it was at $564 and on February 22 it was $604. Compared to national currencies, these are still significant swings, but they pale in comparison to what the market went through in November and December.

Bitcoin price charted over three months

It remains to be seen whether this will be yet another short-lived spike, but the overall trend is positive for the time being.