The virtual currency barrelled to new highs to rise more than 400 percent over the past year, before promptly sliding some 20 percent and then settling around $36,000.
When it started life in 2009 as open-source software, bitcoin was essentially worth zero — though within a year it had reached the heady heights of eight cents.
At today’s market rates, bloated by a surge in institutional demand, the digital unit’s market capitalisation is worth some $670 billion with myriad other crypto coins such as ethereum lifting the sector nominally close to the trillion mark.
Although that’s small potatoes compared to the $68 trillion or so swilling around world stock markets, it is nonetheless the sort of financial territory staked out by Wall Street tech royalty such as Google, Apple or Tesla.
One tech site, AssetDash.com, notes that bitcoin is currently worth around as much as Facebook and a little more than Chinese e-retail giant Alibaba.
After years of experience on traditional currency markets, he judged that it was early days for the crypto equivalent.
“We’re still a small fish,” he said.