it seems like you're saying potato chips aren't scarce, because I can break the chips in my bag up until everyone in the world has a piece of potato chip, and thereby feed the world.
in economic terms, scarcity means that the supply is fixed. and bitcoin supply, by definition and network consensus, is fixed.
I think this is what makes 'breaking up potato chips' into a million pieces to solve hunger seem ridiculous. Where-as splitting a coin into values seems natural. To me at least.
The amount of money in the hands of institutional investors is huge, multi hundred billions. If a minuscule numbers of these investors put a tiny amount of their portfolio in bitcoin, the price will rocket even further.
In Zimbabwe, where most citizens don't have sufficient or easy access to a sound currency, the price of Bitcoin has skyrocketed past US$10,000: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/31/africa/zimbabwe-bitcoin-surge/...
Here's a link to something I wrote in 2011 about Bitcoin's potential for long-term price appreciation -- in it I mention not only Zimbabwe's longtime issues with money, but also those of other countries, including Argentina in the early 2000's, Belarus in the years leading to 2002, Bolivia in the mid-1980’s, Brazil in the early 1990’s, Indonesia in 1997, Mexico in December 1994, Poland circa 1991, Russia in August 1998; South Korea in 1997, Thailand in 1997, and Yugoslavia in the early 1990’s. This is far from a complete list of countries that have had major currency problems. Currency crises are pretty common as you go back in history.
In an earlier rise, coming after the Aug. 1st fork, Bitcoin hit a massive rally that was attributed to Wall Street flooding into Bitcoin once the heat was off from the so-called ‘civil war.’
I don't see the intrinsic value of BTC although I think Blockchain is a great invention.
If you are looking for an investment advice for cryptocurrencies then a Fortune Teller may be your best bet, but please don't invest more than a couple % of your savings.
 https://seekingalpha.com/article/4118265-bitcoin-cboe-trade-... ,
 https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/01/amazon-buys-crypto-domains-b... ,
Here you can see how long it takes to double or get 10x bigger. And you see that at times bitcoin did grew faster (the curve was steeper at some moments). You also see that the corrections were bigger... so volatility does seem to decrease (until now).
So it is not new that is grows fast. Why it does grow fast? I prefer to let this question open. There are many different possible answers. Maybe the actual system has no solid fundamentals? (if every runs to the bank, the is not enough there for everybody o_o). Or the younger libertarian generation prefer it to gold? Or it could bank the unbanked of this world (once lightning implementations in bitcoin and other improvements are past alpha/beta stadium)? Or because venezuela might not be the last state with hyperinflation and cryptocurrencies might be the alternative (once scaling through lightning/... is improved)? Or a new way for machines to exchange with each other?
Obviously speculation on some of these (and other) reasons is still dominating... but it may mean that people seem to belive these secenarios might happen
There are of course speculators, and an increase in the number of businesses accepting bitcoin for regular transactions, but I suspect the ICO boom is likely the driver behind the recent spike.
It is the same mechanism noted by Paul Graham in his time at yahoo - http://www.paulgraham.com/yahoo.html
On the other hand take gold: as a metal, it has little practical use (compared to its availability, it's not that scarce), yet its value is still up there after several thousand years of use. Why? Because there's a consensus that it's worth something, and trust that this value will remain (and even go up) in case of war/disaster/etc. Bitcoin could be a new gold. That's highly hypothetical.
Don't invest what you cannot afford to lose.
Before this, purchases with Bitcoin not for investment purposes were niche in the illegal or attempts at regular purchases that only involved a few users. After these large-scale attacks, Bitcoin has basically been forcibly introduced to the populace at large to (possibly) retrieve their data.
I could argue that this has finally attached Bitcoin's value into something more than trust: data. Hence, bitcoin's value is mirroring the value of another increasingly valuable commodity.
- up and down and back over $7000 - Bitcoin tends to do rapid swings around $1000 milestones, probably due to buyers and sellers setting their next bid for that point
- China rumors and lack of China rumors (though this can be pointed to for any movement)
- upcoming Bitcoin fork causing uncertainty (as mentioned by other commenters)
I'm hoping the value becomes much more stable so I can go back to using it as currency and not as a high risk "investment" that I'm afraid to spend.