In the last hour, around November 19 00:30 UTC, the value of a single Bitcoin on the world's largest Bitcoin exchange, BTCChina, rose to 1,000 US dollars (USD), or 6092.00 Chinese yuan (CNY).
Let me repeat this: 1 bitcoin is worth $1,000.
As I write these words, the exchange rate is about ¥6900 or $1100 and continues to increase. Other exchanges are a bit behind ($900 for MtGox and $750 on Coinbase), but arbitrage is taking place, so they should reach that level within the next few hours, assuming no crash.
I have been telling people since 2010 that Bitcoin is a revolutionary technology: the world's first decentralized, censorship-resistant, inflation-resistant, digital currency. With an overwhelming positive tone from today's first US senate hearing on virtual currencies and Bitcoin in particular, Bitcoin's future has never before been so promising.
I personally value a system like Bitcoin to at the very least the size of the remittance market (Western Union, MoneyGram, etc), or the size of the gold market. And possibly a lot more than that. This lower bound sets the worth of Bitcoin to very roughly $100 to $1,000 billion. With a maximum theoretical limit of 21 million bitcoins, this sets the worth of 1 bitcoin to $5,000 to $50,000. Bitcoin will remain very volatile in the near future. Sure a crash that would bring it back down to below $1,000 is possible or likely, but it would not change its long-term prospect, a few years from now, from being valued between $5,000 and $50,000 and possibly more.