“bitcoin” (CC BY 2.0) by lookcatalog
There no denying it: 2017 was a big year for cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin. In just twelve months the price of a single Bitcoin rose by 1,800%, attaining a value of $20,000 (£14,310) as the year came to an end. For a few weeks, the whole world watched as this alternative currency, money that existed solely on the internet with no interference from world governments or banks, flourished and thrived.
Unfortunately, what goes up must come down and it wasn’t long before Bitcoin crashed and the celebrations surrounding cryptocurrency ceased. This wasn’t a particularly huge surprise, especially to those at Anglia Ruskin University where researchers found that the Bitcoin bubble was real, stating that the cryptocurrency had become seriously overvalued throughout the year. The Bitcoin bubble burst around the New Year, causing the value of Bitcoin, as well as other alt coins including Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple and Dogecoin, to plummet. By April 6, 2018, Bitcoin had lost two-thirds of its value and was worth $6,620 (£4,730).
Of course, six grand is still significantly better than nothing at all, and so many people continued to invest in and use cryptocurrencies. Though the crash was undeniably brutal, Bitcoin still maintained a value, which helped many businesses stick by their decision to accept Bitcoin. Even in East Anglia, there are vendors who will accept cryptocurrency, including CeX and Norwich’s White Lion pub, ensuring that cryptocurrencies won’t be abandoned.
In fact, even huge companies including Microsoft, Expedia and Gap didn’t abandon Bitcoin after its value fell, if anything they doubled-down to ensure current and future investors alike have confidence in cryptocurrency. One of Bitcoin’s biggest supporters, the iGaming industry, also continued to support cryptocurrencies, allowing players around the world to use the digital money to play online games. Even now, Gamble.io, the voice of Bitcoin gambling, continues to announce new cryptocurrency-based online casinos, offers and games, despite what may have happened. This unwavering support from big businesses and cryptocurrency enthusiasts may be what has caused Bitcoin to spring back to life over the last few weeks.
On April 12, Bitcoin gained $1,000 (£715) in value over the space of just one hour and it has been rising steadily ever since. As of writing this, Bitcoin is worth almost $9,000for the first time this month, with many expecting it to grow further over the coming weeks. This has in turn caused other cryptocurrencies to surge, with Ethereum rising by 10% and Ripple gaining 19% more value in just 24 hours.
Alas, we can never be completely certain as to whether Bitcoin will gain and retain value. When it comes to cryptocurrencies, no one can be entirely sure as to why anything has happened in the past, never mind being able to predict what will occur in the coming months. One thing that will help Bitcoin to thrive though, is the large, enthusiastic community that supports it. For now, though, we will just have to wait and see.