Is Bitcoin a bubble?

Released in 2009 as open source software, Bitcoin has quickly become one of the world’s most notable cryptocurrencies and payment systems. The digital currency is so lucrative because it’s decentralised by design, meaning it doesn’t need access to a central bank or administrator.

Instead, it works on a peer-to-peer basis, and you can make transactions with other users directly without worrying about bureaucratic processes. When you make a transaction with the currency, it’s recorded on a public distributed ledger, a blockchain.

People have flocked to the currency over the years, and according to a study by the University of Cambridge, around 2.9 million to 5.8 million users are accessing the cryptocurrency. The value of Bitcoin has grown hugely over the past few weeks, suggesting that it's going through a golden age.

Confused by cryptocurrencies? Check out: What you need to know about cryptocurrencies

In fact, the BBC reports that the currency reached $17,000 (£12,615) on Friday, December 8th. However, while this growth has been unprecedented, there are people who believe that it’s just a “bubble” and that the currency will soon decline. Bitcoin was dealt a blow when gaming platform Steam stopped accepting Bitcoin payments, for example. So, what does this mean for the wider business world?

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Nicholas Fearn

Nicholas is a technology journalist from the Welsh valleys. His work has been featured on Engadget, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, TechRadar, The Next Web, Forbes, Computer Weekly, Computing, Mail Online, The Telegraph and many other media outlets. In addition, he edits Tech Dragons, a publication covering STEM in Wales.

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