Bitcoin just passed $5,000

This morning bitcoin shot past $5,000, and is now hovering around $5,300 — up nearly 10 percent from yesterday.

It’s the first time the cryptocurrency has confidently shot past $5,000. Some exchanges saw the price hit $5,000 for a few minutes in September, but it only lasted for about 10 minutes, making today the first sustained movement past the historic milestone.

YTD chart of bitcoin

Interestingly, not all cryptocurrencies are following bitcoin’s lead today, which usually happens when the incumbent cryptocurrency experiences price fluctuations. Ethereum is only up 2 percent, while Ripple is down 2 percent. Litecoin is the only currency mimicking bitcoin’s movements, as it’s also up ~10 percent today.

This milestone comes exactly two months after the cryptocurrency passed $4,000. It’s a testament to the resiliency of the cryptocurrency, especially after it temporarily sunk last month when China banned both ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges. 

While it’s always hard to pinpoint what exactly is causing price movements, many think that institutional interest is playing a major role in this extended rally. Many Wall Street banks have recently expressed interest (or disinterest) in the cryptocurrency, and mainstream financial media like CNBC have been talking about bitcoin just as much as any other traditional security.

Ironically, this morning on the company’s earnings call, JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon said he’s “not going to talk about bitcoin anymore.” This comes a month after his original comments calling bitcoin “a fraud,” which caused the price to drop 5 percent.

So what’s next for bitcoin? The cryptocurrency is expected to undergo another “hard fork” at the end of November, where some developers will try to propose a protocol change called SegWit2X. While it’s still unclear how much miner support this protocol change will have, it’s possible that we’ll soon see another bitcoin spin-off, just like Bitcoin Cash.

Either way, you can expect the price to be pretty volatile in either direction until after the scaling debate is hopefully resolved next month.