Bitcoin mania grips retail traders in flashback to fall 2017


Celebrity endorsements, exchange outages, rafts of new trading accounts — Bitcoin mania is back.

In a flashback to the frenzied run-up to Thanksgiving 2017, retail traders are piling into cryptocurrencies and driving prices back toward all-time highs. The number of first-time buyers is on course to eclipse December 2017, EToro, an Israeli-British firm, said. Bitcoin trades per day are 81% greater than the rest of 2020 combined. Google searches for “coinbase,” the crypto exchange, reached the highest level in at least a year, according to Google Trends.

And Crypto Twitter hasn’t been this giddy in a long time. A quick tour through various hashtags yields a wealth of frothy posts. There’s the GIF of a beaming waitress serving up glasses of champagne. “We bout to be rich,” goes the tweet. Another fan charts Bitcoin’s performance since 2017 and says, “…and here we are again.”

“Nothing like a pre-Thanksgiving Bitcoin run,” said Catherine Coley, CEO of Binance.US.

Bitcoin climbed within $100 of its all-time high after surpassing $19,000 for the first time since 2017. It’s now up more than 40% in November alone and has more than doubled in 2020. The frenzy spread to other coins. Dash surged 28% on Tuesday, and Bitcoin Cash jumped 15%. XRP rallied so quickly overnight that it reportedly caused an outage on the Coinbase exchange.

Overwhelming Demand

First-time buyers have been flooding online investing apps with orders. Meantime, providers of digital wallets and payment apps are also seeing a big jump in crypto sales. Square Inc., the San Francisco-based payments firm, said customers purchased $1.6 billion worth of Bitcoin using its Cash App in the third quarter, an 83% jump from the prior period.