After a tumultuous week that saw Bitcoin lose about a third of its value on Friday, Bitcoin experienced a rebound on Saturday, as prices rose back over the $15,000 mark. Bitcoin's all-time high water mark (so far) was $19,783 less than a week ago on December 17th. At one point during Friday's trading, Bitcoin prices fell below $11,000. During the trading on Friday, some popular bitcoin exchanges were temporarily offline due to high volume trading.
Price volatility isn't the only issue that has affected the future of bitcoin this week. Coinbase, one of the most popular bitcoin banks, shut down trading of the bitcoin spinoff bitcoin cash earlier this week due to allegations of insider trading.
Also, despite bullish predictions from Blockchain CEO Peter Smith about the regulatory future of Bitcoin, the Securities and Exchange Commission halted trading on Tuesday of The Crypto Company, a publicly traded company that had been riding the wave of bitcoin mania to a stunning 160% increase in stock price in the previous five days. The move came as part of a larger crackdown by the SEC on companies that are riding the bitcoin wave to high stock prices. The SEC remains concerned that many of these companies are frauds or scam operations, and as the SEC crackdown continues, investors may become wary of investing in bitcoin-based businesses.
Additionally, the South Korean-based bitcoin exchange Youbit announced on Tuesday that it was closing its doors after suffering its second major hack of the year, which has raised concerns about the security and reliability of cryptocurrency.
Still, even after what has been a rough week by all accounts, bitcoin remains one of the financial success stories of 2017. Bitcoin was trading at less than $1,000 this time in 2016, so anyone who owned bitcoin throughout the year saw a tremendous return on their investment.
However, as bitcoin becomes more of a mainstream investment, its long term future will to some extent depend on the ability of cryptocurrency markets to demonstrate security and stability for investors.