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Bitcoin’s rise: $1,000 invested in 2010 would be worth $35 million today
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[Image: MW-FG560_bitcoi_20170224113647_ZH.jpg?uu...1cc448aede]

nvestors who made bullish bets in bitcoin near its nascence may be getting the last laugh, as the digital currency, which has drawn skeptics, has raced to repeated records in recent trade.

The value of one bitcoin BTCUSD, -1.21%  shot to nearly 2,200 for the first time on Monday. Trading at 2,195,81:

[Image: DAanooSWsAIO-GA.png:small]




The unmitigated ascent for bitcoin comes as virtual currencies broadly have been gaining more prominence, putting them on a tear since last year, with cryptocurrency bulls pointing out stratospheric climb for bitcoin, compared with other traditional investments.

One “regret” chart sent around on Monday by Jeroen Blokland, portfolio manager on the Robeco Global Allocation team, shows how a $1,000 investment in bitcoin in July 2010 would be worth more than $35 million. Comparatively, the equivalent investment in the S&P 500 would be around $2,500 (excluding dividends):

[Image: DAaZZtTXkAAD8_X.jpg:small]




While the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.52%  has eased about 0.1% so far in May, essentially going nowhere, one bitcoin is about 61% higher for the month, climbing from around $1,344 at the start of the month to Monday’s fresh record. Those gains have in part been driven by upbeat regulatory moves, and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision to rethink its rejection of the proposed Winklevoss 
Bitcoin Trust exchange-traded fund.

As well, given the political tension in the U.S., some investors have sought out alternative investments, and bitcoin was tracking gains for gold GCM7, +0.16% until the virtual currency started sprinting ahead of the more traditional haven commodity this month:
[Image: MW-FM909_crypto_20170522093312_MG.png?uu...8e992d421e]MarketWatch
Gold vs. bitcoin
Of course, comparing the S&P 500 (or even gold) with bitcoin is a bit of apples-and-oranges comparison, and there are plenty of caveats. Chris Dannen, founder of New York-based cryptoasset fund Iterative Instinct, said earlier this month that some of the recent run-up could have been caused by a handful of wealthy traders, awash in crytocurrency and moving prices to their advantage.

Manfred Hubner, chief executive officer at Sentix.de, which provides a weekly capital market survey on hundreds of different indexes, said there has been a systematic increase in interest the bitcoin market since 2014, but noted a change in expectations recently, which could trigger those prices to correct, or move lower.

In a note on Sentix’s website, Hubner likened bitcoin to the Duth tulip bubble of the 17th century (it isn’t the first time such a comparison has been made), as well as a Ponzi -like scheme. He said investors should be cautious as bad things tend to happen to those who get in late on what he described as a “speculative bubble.”

There are some pretty “heady valuations” out there at the moment, when it comes to bitcoin, Charles Hayter, chief executive officer and founder of Cryptocompare, said in a Monday note.

“At the moment all you need to be showered in cash are a couple of buzzwords tagged onto something crypto or blockchain related. Ironic is the fact that some prediction markets who have raised via this method rely on the wisdom of crowds for their USP (unique selling point) yet are subject to their madness in terms of valuation,” he added.
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