WHAT IT IS
- Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency – a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used.
- Bitcoin not regulated, buyers and sellers are anonymous, and there are no transaction fees.
- In 2008, a white paper was released under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, detailing what would be widely regarded as the first modern cryptocurrency initiative.
- Numerous alternative cryptocurrencies, or “altcoins,” have emerged since bitcoin broke into public awareness.
WHY IT MATTERS
Acceptance of Bitcoin has grown from hobbyists to universities, companies, and some governments. If someone bought $1,000 of bitcoins in July 2010, when the price was $0.05, it would be worth $46,000,000 today.
WHERE ARE WE NOW
- In the startup industry: Coinbase (a website for buying, selling and storing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies) is talking to investors about raising money, at a $1 billion valuation.
- In the education industry: The University of Ohio is hosting classes about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and some colleges accept bitcoin as payment
- In the financial industry: Market capitalization of digital currencies has soared over 50 percent to more than $90 billion in the past seven days.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- With the value of Bitcoin surging in a short period of time and rapidly growing competition, is this another bubble waiting to burst?
- How will governments and agencies regulate and tax this new technological capability and potential industry?