Bitcoin’s heyday as an online currency started in the late 2000s, after it was created by an entity known only as Satoshi Nakamoto. Nobody knows who Nakamoto is, or what the name stands for, but the creation of Bitcoin is one of the biggest leaps in computer technology.
People mined Bitcoin like California’s Gold Rush miners from the 1800s. They used it to buy almost anything on the web — household and personal essentials, collectibles and even weapons. Some also used to buy traffic with Bitcoin to ensure that their websites saw a regular influx of visitors. It seemed to be one of the best things to ever happen in computing. And then it suddenly disappeared. Or did it?
A Place in Rapidly-Evolving Cyberspace
Bitcoin’s popularity dwindled as fast as it blossomed. In 2013, Mt. Gox (the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange) went under. Since then, online payments have tended to be made via credit cards. Upon Mt. Gox’s decline, people thought Bitcoin was gone for good. The demise of popular online markets, such as the controversial Silk Road, has also been attributed to Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy since the latter relied heavily on Bitcoin.
The ‘death’ of Bitcoin seems to be a hoax, however, since several online markets still accept it alongside credit cards. Sites like Expedia, Newegg, AliExpress, and even Amazon still take Bitcoin payments. People see the advantages of using Bitcoin, too. For instance, it’s an ultra-secure form of online payment. There is no need to worry about credit card numbers being leaked and stolen. It’s also not subject to inflation.
The use of Bitcoin is still widespread, and the currency’s usage rate has experienced a steady climb since 2013, the year of Bitcoin’s supposed death. Daily Bitcoin transactions have shown numerous dramatic increases from February 2015 to January 2016. Records peaked at almost 250,000 daily transactions between September and October 2015.
Is Bitcoin a Viable Currency?
Despite concerns about its feasibility, Bitcoin can be a viable currency in specific circumstances. Governments and countries with unstable economies can use Bitcoin in numerous ways. They can choose to add regulations to prevent tax dodging, money laundering, and other related offences. In addition, Bitcoin’s hedge against inflation can’t be understated.
Bitcoin is not dead. It’s steadily climbing up the ranks, and it’s only a matter of time before it takes over cyberspace payments again.