The enormous cryptocurrency price gains in November and December 2017 have generated massive public interest in Bitcoin and other digital currencies. This rise has also allowed some early investors to claim paper profits in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The famous Winklevoss twins from the Facebook origin story are now reportedly some of the first Bitcoin billionaires.

And the investing community is taking notice, with new futures markets for Bitcoin starting up, a move which many see as legitimizing the cryptocurrency among the broader investing public. Hitting $1,000 incremental milestones for Bitcoin is now happening in a matter of hours, with the price in some cases moving up several thousand dollars in less than an hour. Here are some of the milestones that have happened to the price of BTC.

  • In the spring of 2011 Bitcoin reaches parity with the U.S dollar. $1,000 invested at $1.00 would be worth $17 million at the $17,000 price point.
  • BTC moves above $1,000 for the first time in November of 2013, but quickly falls.
  • The cryptocurrency started 2017 at a price less than $1,000.
  • On December 7, 2017 the currency nearly eclipsed $20,000, after hitting the $10,000 milestone for the first time on November 28, 2017.
While Ethereum is garnering less attention due to the rise of Bitcoin, it has still enjoyed returns that outperform nearly any other investment vehicle. The price of one Ether coin in January 2016 was around $1.00 per coin, and it’s now hovering around $450, so $1,000 invested at that point would be worth close to $450,000 today. Many in the cryptographic community see tremendous value in Ethereum’s blockchain, especially its suitability for “smart contracts” and expect the price to accelerate quickly in the coming years.

When investing in a Bitcoin or Ethereum IRA, it’s important to look past the recent meteoric price gains and instead see the potential of both cryptocurrencies as attractive long-term investments.