Nothing seems capable of stopping Bitcoin's rise and shine. The world's most valuable crypto-coin has appreciated more than 700% since the turn of the year. On Sunday it hit a new all-time high, rising above $8,000 at exchanges worldwide. This is after falling to $5,500 the previous Sunday.
Bitcoin's momentum from the middle of October suffered a massive setback the second week of November after reports emerged that the SegWit2x hard fork will not come to fruition as expected.
The hard fork held the promise of free coins and resulting free money so when it was canceled people started selling their coins. However, a week ago, investor confidence seemingly returned and the coin clocked over $8,000 seven days later.
Institutional money to enter bitcoin and blockchain
Many reasons can be attributed to this rally.
One of them is the expected entrance of institutional money into the market. Many Wall Street firms have sung praises about blockchain, the technology backing the Bitcoin network, and a number of them are working on making use of it in the fintech market. A number of banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. just successfully completed a six-month test of the technology in the $2.8 trillion equity swaps market.
Interests from CME Group about Bitcoin can't be neglected as well. CME is an American financial marketing company. Reports that it will be opening a Bitcoin futures market early in December certainly played a part in the restoration of investors' confidence in the coin.
The Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)
There is a general consensus that Bitcoin is still in its infancy stage. No one has put a ceiling on the price of Bitcoin and the prevailing belief is that it will keep going up for the main time. There is yet to be a mania for Bitcoin but we seem to be tending in that direction.
If/when Bitcoin becomes mainstream, the scramble for Bitcoin will push the price up such that it could reach unprecedented all-time highs. That is when the fear of missing out on Bitcoin become pervasive. Current and prospective cryptocurrency investors are human beings.
FOMO could drive Bitcoin to new heights in 2018.
Lightning set to strike early?
Amidst reports of Bitcoin attaining a new all-time high, the debate about making it scalable could end very soon. The Lightning Network, a solution which will allow Bitcoin transactions to be made instantaneously, is still ways away, but it's implementation and adoption could be sooner.
Two days ago, the first ever off-chain atomic swap between Bitcoin and Litecoin was successfully completed by Lightning Labs, a transaction which was made possible by the lightning network. When massively deployed, this technology could get rid of exchanges as it enables decentralized transactions between Bitcoin and other altcoins.
Apart from smoothening transactions between Bitcoin and altcoins, the lightning network can also ensure that Bitcoin transactions are faster and less expensive, making the crypto-coin scalable. Lightning isn't yet primed for the main network but the time is drawing nearer. And although the rumor is that it would debut in 18 months (developers are still working on it), there are indications that it could come sooner.
A Reddit userclaims to have successfully made a Bitcoin transaction using lightning and that it was instantaneous. He posted a video on Twitter showing the whole process as well.
If lightning goes live on the Bitcoin network, it will see the end of Bitcoin Cash, a fork of the coin in August.