Bitcoin, the privatized digital currency, regained much of its value after plunging 20 percent, climbing back to nearly $10,500 by mid-afternoon a couple of weeks ago, and topping $11,000 again last week.
The cryptocurrency’s rocketing ride shows no sign of slowing. And opinions about the Bitcoin phenomenon vary as wildly as its price, writes Sam Wood for philly.com.
Some believe it’s the future of money. One eccentric internet pioneer predicts that 1 Bitcoin will rocket to $1 million by 2020. Intrepid speculators and hedge funds are snapping it up. Both the Chicago Board Options Exchange and Nasdaq plan to introduce Bitcoin futures, giving a trusted exchange’s imprimatur on digital currency prices, which can vary around the world.
Others warned last week that the mania around the cryptocurrency was a disaster waiting to happen: One Fed official suggested Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies endangered the stability of the market “if they achieve wide-scale usage.”
To read the complete bitcoin primer click here.
On 18 August 2008, the domain name “bitcoin.org” was registered. In November that year, a link to a paper authored by Satoshi Nakamoto titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System was posted to a cryptography mailing list. Nakamoto implemented the bitcoin software as open source code and released it in January 2009. The identity of Nakamoto remains unknown.
In January 2009, the bitcoin network came into existence after Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first ever block on the chain, known as the genesis block, for a reward of 50 bitcoins, according to Bitcoin’s wikipedia entry.