On the Rise
Bitcoin is continuing to break records as we near the end of 2017. At the time of writing, its price is $10,726.45 – up a whopping 1,345 percent from its value as of this time last year, $742.01.
The cryptocurrency broke the $10,000 barrier on November 28, becoming one of the world's 30 largest currencies of any kind. Its value then rose by another $1,000 in just one day, before dropping back down again as the market responded.
Bitcoin certainly seems to be on the up-and-up, and in recent months we've seen various analysts backtrack on earlier predictions that the currency would have already faltered. That being said, there's still ample reason to exercise caution when it comes to buying in.
For the moment, it seems to be a great time to be a Bitcoin investor. However, the future of the cryptocurrency is still mired in uncertainty. The cryptocurrency's rise has been marked with calls for more regulation, predictions of its failure, and even hacking scandals, leaving some wondering if the Bitcoin bubble is threatening to burst.
A recent report indicated another new issue: that the average amount of electricity used to mine Bitcoin surpassed the usage of over 150 countries. This is something that must be addressed as the coin becomes increasingly popular, as the energy used is essentially wasted.
The environmental aspect of Bitcoin mining may come into play as international governments seek to regulate the cryptocurrency. In Australia, there has already been talk of the country's reserve bank adopting the coin officially, and there are reportedly plans to submit a bill to the US congress that would help protect investor's rights.
This is to say nothing of the technological threats to the coin – the computing power of quantum systems could cause major problems for blockchain in its current form.
Bitcoin's value is on the rise and shows no signs of stopping, but it's difficult to predict what the future holds.
Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.