Bitcoin has finally surmounted the greatest psychological barrier of all, passing $10,000 and showing no signs of stopping. Following a week of consolidating at all-time high levels around $8,000, Bitcoin found the strength to move up powerfully over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Black Friday saw the currency hit new highs in the upper $8,000s before surmounting the $9,000 level Saturday and immediately charging toward the $10,000 mark Sunday. These price increase come on unusually high volume, with fear of missing out (FOMO) bringing new investors in rapidly.

Bitcoin has had a stunning year, by anyone’s accounting. Having started the year at just under $1,000, the price jump to over $10,000 represents some incredible changes. This growth is not a flash-in-the-pan either, but is supported by growing mainstream adoption and massive trading volume. In just the past 24 hours Bitcoin’s trading volume has exceeded $5 bln.

Major announcements

The year has been filled with major announcements that signal the widespread acceptance and growth of Bitcoin. Extensive coverage by mainstream analysts was followed by huge growth in Bitcoin hedge funds and institutional investors.

Now the launch of regulated futures markets is imminent, and Bitcoin has become the investment du jour of the financial community. Whether they love it or hate it, big bankers can’t keep their mouths shut about Bitcoin.

The attention Bitcoin has garnered from mainstream media has been astounding. Only a year ago, news would spread of a local newspaper mentioning Bitcoin, and the community would be thrilled. Now, major publications mention Bitcoin daily, and no one is surprised. Bitcoin has literally gone viral.

Further, the growth in hedge funds that invest in cryptocurrencies has exploded as well. As early as August, the news that 70 new funds could be starting was a headline. Now, the existence of 120 new or modified crypto related funds barely warrants a head nod.

Another major contributing factor for Bitcoin’s sizeable gains is the reality that Bitcoin futures will soon be traded on major regulated markets. Two of the world’s largest futures markets, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE), will soon launch Bitcoin futures.

Network growth

As adoption increases, the network is forced to keep pace. However, Bitcoin has continued to maintain a huge transaction volume as the price has increased. As shown below, the daily transaction volume is now over $2 bln.