6/10- $22.35 (1 week)
Apparently my estimate for the rate of increase was too low. I've noticed something else too. The BTC value seemed to be "stuck" around $18.5 - $19.5 for a day before breaking through $20 and almost instantly reaching $24. Now it seems to be stuck again at $23.5-$24.5. I predict that it will remain stuck here for a bit, maybe a day or two, and then jump up to $29~.
The early speculators are human. I imagine they are looking at the rising value and thinking "if the value reaches X, I will sell half of my bitcoins". As humans, we tend to pick nice round numbers when we can. I suspect a lot of these people saw $20 as a big milestone, and now see $25 the same way. So when the value gets close to these numbers, they sell. These sales (briefly) halt the upward trend of BTC value, until the speculators have spent their reserves.
How high can it go? And how fast can it get there? I have no idea. My last estimate was too conservative, but there is no guarantee that the rate of increase will remain as it is. It could reverse, the market could crash, or it could increase at exactly the rate I previously predicted- it's beyond my powers to predict fully.
My current strategy is to stick with hardware investment and mining. The returns are lower than directly buying BTC, but the risks are smaller as well. I figure if BTC really go insane and reach 4 digit values I'll make plenty of money, and if they do not my losses will be minimal.
On an unrelated note, parts arrived for my first real dedicated mining rig. However, my desk area lacks the power to run the new rig and my existing computer without tripping the circuit breaker. My plan is to run headless in another room after setup, but I'm going to delay the setup and do it tomorrow at work where I have adequate power.
BTC mined as of tonight: 18.28 BTC, total value: $444.20