Bitcoin is having a moment. Monday, the cryptocurrency hit an all-time high of $9,721 per unit. This feat is made even more impressive when considering the fact that the total value of the 16.7 million bitcoins currently in circulation has surged to more than $160 billion, besting the market capitalizations of surefire money stackers like McDonald's and Disney.
"The legitimacy this gives bitcoin as a tradeable asset is very important," ETX Capital senior market analyst Neil Wilson told the Guardian. "The market cap of bitcoin now exceeds that of IBM, Disney [or] McDonald's."
Bitcoin is up a staggering 1,195 percent over the past year. As Wilson and others have strongly advised, however, the potential for a massive bubble burst is still quite high due to the very nature of what bitcoin represents. Wilson has gone as far as calling bitcoin's current surprise success as merely a "giant speculative bubble" that relies on "the greater fool" to set traditional real-word value.
For those not up on cryptocurrency happenings, bitcoin is a virtual token that's exchanged between users via a decentralized computer network. There are no banks or identification requirements. Though bitcoin is understandably at the center of the cryptocurrency headline mania right now, it's not the only option for those looking to Mr. Robot-–ify their life.