Digital currency Bitcoin has had a pretty big year, as the open-source currency discarded the shawl of anonymous obscurity and rose to becoming a household name, even gaining recognition by the Oxford dictionary.
This week surely marks the most successfully record of the digital currency however, as the value of a single bitcoin soared to over $1,000.
What makes this feat so incredible is that at the start of the year Bitcoin was trading at $13 per coin. In fact at the start of November a single Bitcoin was worth $200.
An increase in value of $800 for a single unit of currency, in under month, is absolute madness for any type of currency, but the nature of Bitcoin makes this skyrocket in value slightly more significant.
The fact that Bitcoins are unregulated and are not associated with any type of formal banking group has made the currency been seen as a rather anti-establishment movement, indeed some of the more bohemian areas of the world were the first to accept payment by Bitcoin.
Now however more and more mainstream organisations are recognising Bitcoin as a form of payment and it can now be used for products that are not confined to the internet, such as taxi fares and take-out food.
More so than a method of payment it can also be seen as an investment, much like stocks, and those that bought into the scheme at the start of this year must be feeling that Bitcoin is one of the wisest investments of their lives today, with this soar in value.
There has been speculative reasons for the sharp increase in value over the last month, the two that hold the most weight are those that point to the U.S. government reacting in a positive manner to the virtual currency in a Senate meeting and a large increase of investment in Bitcoins in Asia.
This huge jump in value would have undoubtedly resulted in a huge payday for those who chose to cash out at this record high, indeed there have been winners and losers from Bitcoin going crazy.
Firstly there was the Norwegian man who bought $27 worth of Bitcoins back in 2009, completely forgot about them, before realising he was sitting on a $886,000 fortune.
On the other hand there’s the grimacing story of the UK man who threw away a hardrive that stored a, at the time, small Bitcoin wallet. With the meteoric rise in value of Bitcoin this man would be able to trade his collection for $7.5 million and is currently knee deep in rubbish searching for his discarded hardrive.
There are still a number of questions hanging over the head of the virtual currency, fluxuation in value is one of the more concerning trends (during the course of writing this article the value of a Bitcoin to USD rose and fell by around $100), but with this large increase in its valuation it seems like a good week to be associated with Bitcoin in one way or another, and the increase of integration of Bitcoin with high street brands can only been seen as a good thing, time will tell how long this will last.
If the mass amounts of news coverage following this significant feat is the first you’ve heard of the virtual currency you can check out our guide to Bitcoins here.