Bitcoin’s increasingly getting Main Street’s attention.
Long the bastion of the digitally savvy, individual investors have been opening accounts at a breakneck pace in the past week as the currency surges toward $10,000. Coinbase, one of the most popular platforms for trading cryptocurrencies, has added at least 300,000 users since just before the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 22, according to data collected by Alistair Milne, co-founder of the Altana Digital Currency Fund.
The San Francisco-based company had 13.3 million users as of Nov. 26, up from 13.0 million on Nov. 22 and 10.6 million two months ago. The company has almost tripled its customer base in the past year. Coinbase’s mobile app was trending in Apple’s app store, where it ranks at number four under the finance category.
Bitcoin blew past $9,700, just a week after topping $8,000, as it gains mainstream market attention and defies bubble warnings. With an overall market capitalization of $162 billion, it’s now worth more than Walt Disney Co. and International Business Machines Corp.
Even with the relentless push higher, some of the better known early investors and advocates in the sector are advising caution.
“If you have a lot of crypto, and also significant debt, strongly consider selling some crypto at these all-time highs and paying down debt,” said Erik Voorhees, founder and chief executive officer of cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift, in a tweet. “Don’t go into debt to buy crypto at these prices.”