You might have heard about this bitcoin thing; it’s been in the news a lot. Something to do with it passing $8,000…no $9,000…no, wait, where are we now? It’s hard to keep pace.
No one knows where bitcoin will be a day, week, or year from now, but at this moment in time, bitcoin is bigger than the following things.
Bigger, Stronger, Better
In 1966, John Lennon courted controversy by stating that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. 51 years later and bitcoin is hitting biblical levels of its own. Boasting of what bitcoin is bigger than may seem childish; the equivalent of first graders arguing over whose dad is bigger. Nevertheless, it provides a useful snapshot of where bitcoin is at right now, and of how far it’s come. It’s also a helpful way of quantifying an intangible asset.
It was four years ago today that bitcoin surged past $1,000 for the first time. That milestone seems quaint now: bitcoin has gained $100 billion in the last month alone. The virtual currency is officially now bigger than several venerable institutions and major countries.
Bitcoinity’s ticker on November 27 2013, when $1,000 really did feel like the moon.
Bitcoin surged past PayPal weeks ago, and is on course to double the market cap of the payment processing company soon.
The world’s most famous fast food company has a market cap of $135 billion. Bitcoin, at $163 billion, looks supersized in comparison.
The enterprise computing giant has a market cap of $140 billion. Bitcoin is worth almost $25 billion more.
The current value of all Walt Disney stock is $155 billion. Who needs Disneyland when you’ve got the bitcoin rollercoaster to ride?
You might have heard of GE; they were once the largest company in the world and still retain almost 300,000 employees. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has zero official employees, and yet is worth several billion dollars more.
Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos
Bill Gates is worth ‘just’ $87 billion, though if the benefactor hadn’t given away 700 million Microsoft shares plus other donations to charity, he’d be worth $150 billion. The first person since Gates to exceed a net worth of $100 billion is Jeff Bezos. The Amazon CEO’s assets place him on a par with the cryptocurrency market excluding bitcoin and bitcoin cash.
The Total Supply of Currency in Denmark
Bitgo’s Jameson Lopp has bitcoin currently at 27th in the world’s top currencies, ahead of Denmark and level with Venezuela. His M1 index lists “the total quantity of currency in circulation (notes and coins) plus demand deposits denominated in the national currency”.
135 of the World’s 191 Countries
Bitcoin’s presently nestling between the GDP of Kazakhstan and Qatar. Next in its sights? Romania, Greece, Czech Republic, and New Zealand.
Korea’s Largest Financial Exchange
This one’s cheating, cos to outmuscle Korea’s Kosdaq exchange you have to include the value of the entire cryptocurrency market. Nevertheless, it’s another milestone: at $300+ billion, cryptocurrency is worth $25 billion more than Korea’s Nasdaq. The cryptocurrency market is also worth $50 billion more than Visa.
Bitcoin’s transformative value is about much more than its current price against the US dollar – that merely provides an indication of the growing demand for the cryptocurrency. As veterans will confirm, the virtual currency is just as capable of going sideways or south for extended periods. While it’s fun to marvel at bitcoin’s growth, it’s important not to get too carried away.
If you’re new to bitcoin, start saving with it, transacting with it, using it for remittance, and repurposing it in any other way you see fit. Only then will you start to appreciate the true value of bitcoin.