Bitcoin is a term we often hear tossed around in the headlines. We know that it deals with money, online transactions, and just maybe the deep web. Back in 2014, the Washington Post established that only 24% of the American public was aware of what bitcoin actually was. Meaning that almost three-quarters of the country had no idea. But maybe they just might want to start paying attention, especially now since it is at its all-time high value.
Bitcoin was introduced in 2008 by an anonymous group of programmers under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto and was eventually released to the public in 2009 as an open-source software. Unlike other online payment services like PayPal and Venmo, Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network that takes place privately between two users—meaning there is no intermediary involved. The cryptographic virtual currency is completely decentralized from any external influence while all transactions with the currency are accounted for through a blockchain ledger.
While bitcoin is thoroughly anonymous, the blockchain ledger has all transactions available publicly. Therefore, theoretically, if you know the time and date of a particular transaction, you may be able to match someone’s online address to their identity. On the other hand, all transactions made through bitcoin are encrypted with military grade cryptography, ensuring that all deals are secure. Sending and receiving bitcoins is as easy as sending an email, but does that mean it’s worth it?
With all that said and done, Bitcoin has made it far since it’s substantial price drop in 2013. Since then Bitcoin has stabilized around a margin of $250, with most experts believing it was doomed. However, it seems to have returned to a relatively stable rise since last year. This time last year bitcoin was valued at $367, with its steady rise, it is now valued at 1,177.18. Many speculate as to what is causing the recent trend from Congress to WallStreet to even sheer luck.