A favorite among billionaires and black-market shoppers, bitcoin has rocked the fiscal world. Secure, easy to use and tech-friendly, the cryptocurrency has made its fair share of friends and enemies since its birth after the 2008 Recession – but its golden age might be short-lived.
Bitcoin is an online currency created by an anonymous internet-user in 2009. Transactions are made anonymously and without transaction fees or middle men (so there’s no banks involved), according to CNN.
It’s easy to see why bitcoin is so popular. Its decentralized aspect, meaning that it’s free from bank control, assures users of their money’s stability. For instance, unlike currency from a traditional bank which can be inflated until it has no value, Investopedia reports that bitcoin is created using a complex algorithm called “Bitcoin Mining,” so it’s produced at a healthy pace.
And if that weren’t enough, bitcoin has a broad use of applications, though granted, not all are exactly kosher. Because bitcoin is anonymous and easy to set up, users can have multiple profiles from which they can make purchases. So, although bitcoin can purchase everything from pizza to motorcycles, it’s widely used on the black market for illicit activities such as for drugs and human trafficking, according to CNBC.
But not everyone’s digging the new monetary style. In a recent chain of events, China declared its animosity for the cryptocurrency as it declared its intent to shut down Bitcoin exchanges within the country – and this wasn’t a surprise. According to the Wall Street Journal, Beijing appears to be becoming more intolerant of cryptocurrencies day by day:
“The hard truth is that a loosely regulated, somewhat complicated financial instrument like bitcoin was never likely to sit well with a government that is still obsessed with micromanaging its own hard currency, the yuan.”
So that accounts for bitcoin’s slight fall from grace. But other than that, the cryptocurrency seems to be faring well. Its general value is rising, and as of this year its price rose to $4000 USD, according to Cryptocoins News.
Bitcoin, then, has proved successful insofar as the currency is still in its infancy. Negative future prospects may include other government cracking down on bitcoin as they worry about losing tax revenue and control of their respective hard currencies.
So it’s still too early for black-market shoppers to celebrate. But come December, if bitcoin continues to boom, our Christmas parties will undoubtedly be suspiciously exciting.