Home The astronomical rise of the cryptocurrency

The astronomical rise of the cryptocurrency


Once upon a time, people used to trade in gold, in goods, and in precious stones. Then came minted money which was representative of gold bullion held in a central location. From there, the modern system of money came, although much of the gold reserves are long gone! Nowadays, money makes the world go around and currencies across the globe engage in a daily battle of strength, pitted against each other and affected minute to minute by politics, economics, and other global events.

newspaperBut in 2009 came something new. A disrupter that would turn on its head, the normal concept of currency, and that would give gold a run for its money. Something that would shake the financial industry to its core, wage an unwinnable war, and lead to some governments even banning and restricting it- Bitcoin. A cryptocurrency which was created by an unknown coder, and that’s popularity spread through the world like wildfire. Bitcoin allows users security, safety, and most importantly- anonymity. From reputable and popular Bitcoin casinos, to e-marketplaces and more- thousands of people are turning to reputable third-party bitcoin enabled sits to facilitate their online currency spending habits.


But what is it?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency- a form of money that is “mined” through the solving of complex equations and puzzles. Unlike general currency, there is a limit to the amount of Bitcoin that can be mined, but like traditional currencies, the value of the coins can increase and decrease. Over the years since its inception, the exchange rate between Bitcoin and the dollar has fluctuated between $1 for every Bitcoin and over $2000 for a Bitcoin.


What is the point of it?

Using Bitcoin for a transaction means that you are totally, and completely anonymous and any purchase that you make cannot be traced. In a world where what we do online is being watched with or without our permission, as well asbeing set to possibly increase– it is important to retain as much privacy as we can. Secondly, a lot of people like the slightly anarchistic view of not dealing with currency that is controlled by a government or central bank.


What can I use it for?

Bitcoin can be used for a variety of things and as its popularity and widespread use is continuing to grow, more and more companies are jumping on the bandwagon. You can book a five-star hotel, gamble in an online casino, shop for online products at Dell, Newegg, Showroomprive.com, and Overstock, buy apps, and even book plane tickets- all with Bitcoin currency. As time progresses it is expected that more and more businesses will come on board and even banks might get involved!


Sounds great, but what about the disadvantages?

Well, everything has its drawbacks and Bitcoin is no exception. When you are in possession of Bitcoin, you store it in what is known as an electronic wallet. These are prone to hacking and there are cases where people have their Bitcoins taken from right under their nose and unlike traditional banks, there is no way of recourse or retrieving your money. Secondly, if your computer explodes or you lose the hard drive that your bitcoin is stored on, then sadly, they are gone forever. There was a case of a man in Wales, UK who accidentally threw out a hard drive with over £4 million of Bitcoin on it. Once it is gone, it is gone, and there is no way of getting it back. The other problem with the currency is that as it is not regulated by an authority of any type, nor backed up with gold reserves, or by a central bank, it is rather unpredictable. It hasn’t happened yet and appears to be rather unlikely, but there are concerns that it could all disappear into thin air over night, leaving many unhappy and out of pocket!


The verdict

There is no doubt in my mind that Bitcoin is here to stay, and personally, I would rather jump on the bandwagon than watch the bandwagon pass by. Bitcoin is not an infinite currency so we would advise that you check it out sooner rather than later!



Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.

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