Last year marked what can arguably be described as the single greatest performance for an asset class in history. The aggregate market cap of all virtual currencies soared from just $17.7 billion to around $613 billion over 12 months, representing a better than 3,300% increase in value. By comparison, the stock market has historically returned about 7% per year, inclusive of dividend reinvestment and when adjusted for inflation.
At the center of this rally is bitcoin, the world’s most valuable token by market cap. Even though bitcoin rose by a more “pedestrian” 1,364% in 2017, the gain in value for its token since it began trading in 2010 is unparalleled. Between March 2010 and December 2017, bitcoin launched from $0.003 (less than a third of a penny) to approximately $20,000 per token. Had you thrown $1,000 into bitcoin in March 2010 and held, you’d be a multibillionaire.