On the heels of setting record highs, bitcoin has surpassed the likes of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) in market value. The cryptocurrency hit a market capitalization of $96.7 billion this morning after reaching a price of $5,856.10 per bitcoin, a gain of more than 10% in the past 24 hours. At that value, CNBC estimates that bitcoin would be the 15th-largest component of the Nasdaq and the 58th biggest on the NYSE. (See also: If You Had Purchased $100 Worth Bitcoins in 2011.)
However, that comparison may not be an apt one, as the report itself points out, especially since bitcoin is a currency and Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are stocks. Bitcoin also has a finite number of coins at its disposal – 21 million, to be precise. Out of that number, only 16.6 million are in circulation. It is quite possible that a larger number of bitcoins in circulation may act as a corrective to the surge in its prices this year. That seems unlikely, however, given analysts' predictions of a further rise in the cryptocurrency's price. (See also: Bitcoin Prices Hit Record High.)
On the other hand, Goldman Sachs has 388.21 million shares outstanding in the market and could increase that number. Analysts have voiced doubts about Goldman's ability to mint profits in a tough trading environment. The investment firm has also said that it is considering bitcoin trading. (See also: Goldman Sachs Considering Bitcoin Trading.)
Still, the fundamentals of trading for both bitcoin and Goldman stock remain the same – demand for both is predicated on business developments. For bitcoin in particular, this year has seen a dramatic reversal of fortunes. It was among the worst performing currencies in 2014, but with its price shooting up by more than 430% this year, bitcoin has clearly soared in 2017. Meanwhile, the share price for Goldman Sachs is down by approximately 2.5% since the start of 2017.