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Bitcoin, the most valuable among the rising market of cryptocurrencies, is flirting with a price of $10,000 this morning, an important milestone for what was once a fringe investment.

Bitcoin prices opened at $9,326 Monday morning, according to Coindesk, and the value continues to rise. Bitcoin has surged rapidly in just the last few days, passing a value of $8,000 for the first time a week ago and crossing the $9,000 threshold Sunday.

According to coinmarketcap.com, Bitcoin’s market cap now sits at more than $162 billion, which is greater than the value of companies like Disney and GE. Bloomberg notes that the market cap of all cryptocurrencies combined is more than $300 billion.

In addition to being the most valuable, Bitcoin is the most famous of the cryptocurrencies. These forms of digital currency are touted as more safe and secure than cash or credit cards and quickly coming into the mainstream. Major companies such as Microsoft, Overstock.com and Subway accept Bitcoins as payment, and that list is growing all the time. Bitcoin goes back to 2009 and was the first example of blockchain technology, which serves as a public ledger for cryptocurrencies with the potential to become much more.

After several stagnant years, Bitcoin prices have skyrocketed in 2017. It took more than three years for the currency’s value to rise from a $1,000 to $1,500, hitting that milestone in May. But then Bitcoin really took off, and it took only six months for prices to rise from $1,500 to nearly $10,000.

And here’s what could happen if Bitcoin continues to rise in price the way it has recently.

The history of Bitcoin indicates that it should hit a rough patch at some point. It has on several instances demonstrated rapid price gains, only for observers to cry “bubble,” and the price to later drop. Lately many prominent minds in the financial world, including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Dallas Mavericks owner and prominent Bitcoin investor Mark Cuban, aren’t optimistic about the future of the cryptocurrency and see a collapse coming.

But like the more mainstream stock market, Bitcoin has continued to gain value, rewarding those with the ability to withstand the dips in price. However, there are other concerns about Bitcoin, such as lack of disk space to conduct transactions, privacy issues and tax problems.

Bitcoin investors are bullish on the cryptocurrency market in general. In a recent survey of more than 500 Bitcoin investors from LendEDU, 52 percent of respondents said they have invested in other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, Ripple and more. But investors expect Bitcoin to remain king, with 84 percent say it will stay the top cryptocurrency.

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