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Bitcoin hits $100 billion four times faster than Apple: Gadfly

(Bloomberg Gadfly) -- There is no official measurement. In that run, it has added roughly $90 billion in value, crossing above $100 billion for the first time on Friday before dropping back a bit.

It's only a matter of time before it becomes a permanent member of the $100 billion club. Bitcoin is now worth more than a number of financial firms that would be its rivals, like American Express Co. ($81 billion)Still, compared with other asset classes, like real estate or stocks, bitcoin is a pimple, which is why some people have convinced themselves that bitcoin can't be in a bubble.

New York City real estate alone is worth more than $1 trillion. There is $8 trillion worth of gold in the world, nearly $15 trillion in Treasury bonds and more than $25 trillion in the US stock market. Bitcoin's mere $100 billion, by comparison, is small.

(Bloomberg TV capture)
(Bloomberg TV capture)

But that's only part of the equation. New York City real estate is worth 10 times bitcoin, but it didn't pass the $100 billion mark, adjusted for inflation, until the late 1970s,Recently, the bitcoin bubble guessing game has moved to transactions, which now equal. And the bitcoin universe has now drawn in investors in so-called initial coin offerings, chip manufacturers and technology investors in general.

If the bitcoin bubble does pop, the value of a lot more than just the cryptocurrency could vanish.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners. (Bloomberg)

Stephen Gandel is a Bloomberg Gadfly columnist covering equity markets. He was previously a deputy digital editor for Fortune and an economics blogger at Time. He has also covered finance and the housing market.