Last year was a brutal one for holders of bitcoin. The price fell from its all-time high of $19,500 in December 2017 to a low of $3,100 a year later. Then the price mostly languished between $3,000 and $4,000 in the early months of 2019.
But recently bitcoin has been on a tear. On April 2, the price soared almost 20 percent in a single day to reach $5,000. The price has drifted steadily upward since then, and it hit $6,000 on Wednesday.
It's often difficult to explain bitcoin price movements, and this case is no exception. Major bitcoin-related news in recent weeks has seemed mostly negative: a possible Chinese government ban on cryptocurrency mining, worries that a major cryptocurrency exchange might be insolvent, and most recently, hackers stealing $40 million from another cryptocurrency exchange.
On the other hand, in recent weeks there have been some signs of growing interest in cryptocurrency from mainstream companies. Fidelity is preparing to offer cryptocurrency trading services
for institutional customers, which could enable more large investors to hold bitcoin, potentially pushing up its price. Perhaps most significant, Facebook is thinking about launching a cryptocurrency of its own. The introduction of facebucks wouldn't directly push up bitcoin's value. But cryptocurrencies generally rise or fall together, and a Facebook endorsement could certainly help to broaden interest in other cryptocurrencies.
Of course, the recent price rise could be totally random, too :-)