When released in 2009 as an open source software, many enthusiasts had the bitcoin slated as the new money. And with the continuing dependence on all things tech-related, this seemed a very real possibility. However, seven years and an uncertain amount of bitcoin owners later, the success of the payment system is ambiguous at best with the interest in bitcoin still fluctuating between wild approval and extreme caution.
One of the major concerns regarding bitcoin is the frequent and at times, extreme, fluctuation in value. In terms of U.S. dollars, the highest value of the bitcoin has been $ 1,242 while its lowest value has been around $ 300. Such highs and lows are expected with a new currency but nonetheless are off-putting for the average person. This variation in worth also has different implications for different owners. For instance, while most investors would balk at such a discrepancy, pure traders would be in their element amongst such rapidly changing rates.
For the typical person, bitcoin can be a daunting affair. In terms of finance, it can be unsettling to put your trust in a currency that is, at first glance, not tangible. You can’t see it or touch and the only wallet you get to put your ‘money’ in is digital. This is not a popular concept with those who have little faith in technology. Conversely, this is what makes it an exciting venture for those who believe in the continuing expansion of IT. To make matters slightly murkier, the origins of bitcoin are shrouded in mystery with its inventor Satoshi Nakamoto conspicuously absent. Such clandestine activity is not well received in terms of financial confidence and does little to improve the belief in the system.
In the aftermath of a string of highly public hacks, the security of bitcoin has been in question. Some of the thefts have been significant in the terms of both bitcoin and dollars and have cast dispersions about how secure the system actually is. However, there are many precautions that bitcoin owners can take to safeguard their wealth and prevent such attacks from being successful.
Lack of Cooperation
Banks and finance laws have been making it difficult for bitcoin to become widespread. Saddled with suspicion, and to a certain degree, threatened by bitcoin’s decentralized way of functioning, banks have refused any transaction with the new peer-to-peer system. The law has been equally disruptive to bitcoin’s expanse. The extensive privacy offered to bitcoin owners is troubling to many authorities while the uncertainty of bitcoin has governments concerned. Several major countries have all-out banned bitcoin while others have restricted the banks’ interaction with the digital currency.
2016 is a year of new possibilities for bitcoin. With new emerging markets, increasing tech savvy and reliance, and more heavy-hitter users, the new year might be quite promising for this fledgling method of payment. And while it is difficult to predict the direction that bitcoin will take, it will undoubtedly be a thrilling journey.