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From $900 to $20,000: Bitcoin’s Historic 2017 Price Run Revisited

One year ago as of the time of writing, the price of bitcoin traded between $930 and $978 – movements that perhaps set the stage for the cryptocurrency’s value to cross the $1,000 on New Year’s Day. Indeed, that headline-making development would be the first of many to come for 2017.

In this article, we look at some of the major moments for bitcoin’s price during the last 12 months, a period of time that saw the price of bitcoin climb from below $1,000 to nearly $20,000 on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

It was a year that arguably exceeded last year’s bullish predictions and one that saw unprecedented interest coming from places – particularly in the finance industry – that some may not have imagined possible just 12 months ago.

The PBOC impact

While January started off with bitcoin price fireworks, that month would also see one of the defining regulatory moments of 2017: an initial move by the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, to tighten its oversight of the country’s then-dominant bitcoin exchanges.

Yet, the warnings from Chinese officials didn’t cause the market death blow that some observers feared.

However, it did lead to a drop in trading volume as a result of the imposition of new trading fees by what were then the “Big Three” exchanges – Huobi, OKCoin and BTCC. Those exchanges later halted withdrawals following new edicts from the PBoC, ultimately closing fiat trading this fall following further restrictions from Chinese regulators.

The ‘no’ heard round the world

Investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss first filed to launch a bitcoin exchange-traded fund back in 2013, setting the stage for a multi-year journey that led to the March 2017 rejection by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

On the news, the market dropped by nearly 30% that day, ultimately recovering above the $1,000 level after the initial drop.

But in what was perhaps a harbinger of the months to come, bitcoin’s price was back above its pre-ETF point within days of the ruling. And despite the reluctance expressed by the SEC at the time, a number of firms have filed to create bitcoin ETFs, with a particular focus on funds tied to cryptocurrency futures.

The summer of bulls

If there was one phrase to define the period between May and September of this year, it was this: a new all-time high for bitcoin.

The cryptocurrency’s price pushed past each successive milestone with apparent ease, including one on May 1 that saw bitcoin break past a record set on an infamous and now-defunct exchange.

This summer also saw significant activity around initial coin offerings, as shown by data in CoinDesk’s ICO Tracker, leading one observer to dub it “the summer of crypto love.”

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