In the last week alone, for instance, one bitcoin has ranged from Thursday's high of more than $5,200 to a low of about $4,200.
Kenneth Rogoff, a professor of economics and public policy at Harvard University and a former International Monetary Fund chief economist, has predicted that the technology behind cryptocurrencies will thrive, but the price of bitcoin will collapse. Ethereum is only up 2%, while Ripple is down 2%.
Typically for bitcoin, which at less than nine years old is still highly volatile and illiquid compared with traditional currencies and assets, the precise reason for its recent tear was unclear. The digital currency plunged below $3,000 in mid-September after the Chinese authorities announced a crackdown.
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Other cryptocurrencies gained value in that window of time as well. High Bitcoin transactions show the high levels of interests the public has on Bitcoin.
Bitcoin nearly reached US$5000 at the start of September, but fell back sharply after the head of Goldman Sachs blasted the cryptocurrency as a "fraud" and as China forced exchanges to close down, sparking fears of a broader crackdown.
- Financial analysts warn of an impending price bubble. And last month, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called the currency a "fraud" that will "blow up".
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"It is folly to think that bitcoin will ever be allowed to supplant central-bank-issued money", he wrote in The Guardian.
Bitcoin mania just crossed the $5,000 mark.
"It is hard to argue that bitcoin does anything better than existing currency arrangements whilst it does some things to a lower standard", Murray added.
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