Bitcoin prices rose and rose and ... fell. Pixabay

The year 2017 was a wild ride for Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency started the year with a slow and steady rise in value but gained the attention of mainstream investors when its price began to skyrocket in recent months.

Bitcoin started the year valued at less than $1,000. While the cryptocurrency sought mainstream acceptance over the course of the year, it was the massive spike starting in November that saw the cryptocurrency’s value nearly triple that caught people’s attention.

Bitcoin price chart
Bitcoin price chart

Despite breaking the $1,000 barrier in January, Bitcoin struggled to gain the public acceptance that its biggest backers were seeking. In the spring, two efforts to launch a Bitcoin ETF (exchange-traded fund)—including one backed by famous tech entrepreneurs the Winklevoss twins—were rejected by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

The cryptocurrency continued its slow and steady rise in value despite the setbacks and was valued at nearly $2,800 when it was hit with a controversial split that broke Bitcoin off into two groups: Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Cash.

The split, which was controversial within cryptocurrency circles, had primarily to do with the scalability of Bitcoin. One group favored optimizing the underlying system already in place for Bitcoin while another group believed it necessary to use new tools that would be able to process transactions faster.

On Aug. 1, the group in favor of using new tools broke off and formed Bitcoin Cash. The alternate cryptocurrency has shown strong performance since its split but has lagged behind Bitcoin in value. Bitcoin Cash has been valued at as much as $4,150.

For Bitcoin, its real rise came just months after the fork with Bitcoin Cash. The cryptocurrency started to experience a steady climb starting toward the end of September when it was valued at just over $3,500.

By mid-October, Bitcoin surpassed the $5,000 mark for the first time and broke the $6,000 barrier before the end of the month. The growth continued mostly unfettered throughout November, with the cryptocurrency reaching the $10,000 mark.

Bitcoin allows relatively small scale investors access to exchanges. IB Times UK

From Dec. 3 to Dec. 18, Bitcoin experienced a truly incredible climb. During the two week period, the cryptocurrency rose from being valued at just over $11,000 to a new high just shy of $20,000. The period saw a sizable influx of new investors looking to score off the cryptocurrency’s improbable spike.

After the incredible two-week run of growth, Bitcoin experienced a drop off that saw it lose more than 30 percent of its value overnight as it dropped below $13,000 . The cryptocurrency has since bounced back some but has not returned to its previous record highs.