With 2017 almost upon us, Bloomberg is reporting that Bitcoin was a clear winner over the course of the last year – at least when it comes to currency performance. Though it has had its share of ups and downs during the last twelve months, the world’s most well-known digital currency has experienced a rally that has outpaced all the world’s major hard currencies – as well as stock indexes and commodities. Bitcoin’s price began the year at roughly $430. As of this writing, its value stands at more than $950 – an increase of more than 100% since January.
Experts have cited a wide variety of reasons for the rally. China and several other countries have placed more capital controls on their citizenry. In countries like Venezuela, rampant inflation and devalued currencies have led consumers to seek refuge in digital currencies. India banned large denomination bills as part of its effort to crack down on dark money and force the country to use electronic cash. There have even been reports that the election of Donald Trump in the United States sparked new interest in Bitcoin on the part of Mexicans who are concerned that he’ll crack down on remittances from the U.S.
Just as important, however, is the fact that there has been increased acceptance of Bitcoin from consumers and businesses. According to CoinDesk, more than a million new wallets were created in the third quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, more companies are gradually moving toward accepting Bitcoin for payment transaction. Those trends are likely to continue into 2017, leading some observers to believe that Bitcoin's value could rise even higher over the coming months.