Coffee Break

What’s Going on with Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the world’s largest cryptocurrency, with 21 million in circulation and many more broken down into millibitcoins and bits. At the moment it seems to be all many people can talk about, from experienced investors to those who have never put their money anywhere other than a bank before. From stories of people losing great amounts due to a misplaced hard drive, to its ever-increasing price, bitcoin seems to constantly be in the news. But why is this? And what’s going on with the cryptocurrency to make it such a phenomenon?

An Ongoing Surge

When bitcoin first came on the scene back in 2008 it was worth a mere fraction of what it is today. Even back in 2012 a single bitcoin was worth just $12. Since then it has so far reached a peak of surpassing $18,000 and is predicted to surge higher.

This has made a lot of early investors incredibly rich, with countless stories, such as the one about the teenager who began trading the cryptocurrency with his bar mitzvah money and now has over half a million dollars. Despite the dramatic rise in price and bitcoin becoming the first truly decentralised electronic payment network, it still isn’t used in many places to actually pay for anything.

Futures Trading

Testament to bitcoin’s rise is the fact that it has now begun trading on a major exchange, launching on the CBOE futures exchange in Chicago.  This led to another surge in price and is viewed by many as another step towards the mainstream and legitimising the currency.

Trading bitcoin can now be done in various ways, to take advantage of its volatility and rise in value. With options to go short or long, spread betting courses in London can help make things clearer about the tax-free trading method.

Will the Bubble Burst?

Few places actually accept bitcoin as a payment method, but if a major business such as Uber started to then the price of bitcoin could skyrocket. Until that happens, there are still fears that bitcoin is creating a bubble that may burst, much like the dotcom bubble in the late 1990s.

Others such as James Altucher predict its meteoric rise will continue and bitcoin will reach $1 million by as early as 2020. Volatility is merely seen as an essential component for it to function. Investing and trading bitcoin still remains a risk, as all investments are, but it could prove a missed opportunity if it does indeed break the $1 million barrier one day.