Bitcoin Money writes BTC/USD Finishes 2011 Up 1,473%:
The last trade for 2011 at the leading Bitcoin exchange was at the rate of $4.72 USD. For the year, Bitcoin’s exchange rate rose from $0.30 — a 1,473% increase. For the fourth quarter, the exchange rate dropped from $5.14 — an 8% decrease. For the month of December, the exchange rate rose from $3.06 — up 54% for the month.
The number of transactions where Bitcoins are used for both the transfer of funds and for commerce has not risen for the past quarter. The explanation for the exchange rate rise would seem then to be mostly attributed to a combination of short term speculation and the use of the currency as a store of value rather than it being due to organic demand from use as a trading currency. World financial events that have motivated investors towards previous metals such as gold might be having the same effect in driving investor interest in Bitcoin.
Because there is so little definitive information that can be learned from observing the transaction data of a pseudonymous digital currency, speculative theories are plenty in explaining the price rise. Whether or not this is simply greed being stronger than fear at this point is hard to tell. What is known is that rallies of this current magnitude have already occurred for Bitcoin more than a dozen times over the past year-and-a-half.
I may add that today Bitcoin is already at $5.33.
I myself am currently mining at around 800 MH/s and planning on adding another Radeon some time this year.
Happy 2012! =)