The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has risen to become the sixth most valuable currency in the world by the amount in circulation, after a series of surges saw it rise to a value over $11,000 a coin.
As a result, the total value of all Bitcoins in circulation is considerably more than the equivalent of several major currencies.
According to a report by SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk, the current value of all Bitcoins is currently approximately $180bn. By contrast, all the UK Pound Sterling banknotes and coins in circulation currently total only $103bn, while the total value of all Canadian and Australian currency in circulation now is $59bn and $55bn respectively.
As a result, 54% of the world’s population lives in countries with in-circulation currencies lower than the total value of Bitcoin.
2017 has seen Bitcoin undergo a dramatic surge in price. At the very start of the year, the cryptocurrency was worth just under $1,000 a coin, and rose relatively steadily over the next few months to reach $3,000 in June.
However, the last few months has seen more marked growth, it hitting $5,000 for the first time in October, $8,000 in November and $10,000 in December.
If it continues its current pace of growth it will hit $15,000 within a month, which would make it the fifth most valuable currency in the world, ahead of India’s Rupee.
Climbing much higher than that, however, will be a challenge. To beat the Euro to second place, Bitcoin will need to rise to an incredible $72,300, and to knock the US Dollar off the top spot, Bitcoin will need to reach $85,160.
While there are other cryptocurrencies attracting investment, none of the others have reached the giddy heights of Bitcoin, with just Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash reaching the top 20 world currencies.
Ethereum has a current total value of $44bn, making it the 17th most valuable currency in the world, while Bitcoin Cash is at the 20th place with a current total in-circulation value of $24bn.
Lesser known cryptocurrency Ripple follows in 21st place, with a value of $10bn, making it worth more than all Swedish Krona ($9bn) and all South African Rand ($6bn).