Fresh off setting a new all-time high this morning, bitcoin is once again increasing its 2017 gains.
Yet for those just tuning in, it might not be immediately obvious how strong the cryptocurrency's recent performance has been or the conditions under which it's seen the boost. After all, as recently as mid-September, bitcoin's perceived bubble had all but burst when the price fell from $5,000 levels to below $3,000.
Yet, out of this doom and gloom, bitcoin has seen a phenomenal rally, delivering more than 70 percent returns in under 30 days.
Further, it's done so in the face of powerful headwinds – China, the world's largest market had just banned ICOs, throttling a thriving use case, and there is still the silent specter of yet another upcoming fork that could split the network, this time more acrimoniously.
So, while criticism of bitcoin continues in some quarters still, bitcoin is paying no heed. Love it or hate it, the number one cryptocurrency by market value has been outperforming popular markets by a big margin.
Just how big is the performance? The chart below outlines bitcoin's price movements from its September 15 low, as compared to gold, the U.S. dollar index and the S&P 500.
The comparison, while not perfect, is a useful one as it provides a perspective on how well bitcoin is performing against common basis points. The S&P 500, for example, is the most traded global benchmark, while the U.S. dollar index provides a snapshot of the prices of paper currencies that inspired bitcoin's quest for a digital alternative.
It's also useful to look at bitcoin against gold – another similarly scarce asset.
Still, over that time, bitcoin's 75 percent rally has rocketed past the anemic gains seen in S&P 500 and the U.S. dollar index. Meanwhile, gold prices shed 1.66% over the same period.
Looking at those figures, bitcoin is clearly ruling the roost (even despite a negative regulatory atmosphere in some jurisdictions).
Further, such strong performance could become a self-feeding cycle, with more investors entering the market for its stellar returns, and hence pushing prices higher.
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