Bitcoin is a volatile digital currency that gained a lot of news coverage in the past couple of weeks as it topped $11,000 in value. It has since increased further.
Many outside the digital world would have ignored this, but those of us inside the tech bubble were tuned in to see the rise of the biggest cryptocurrency. However, there is still a large proportion of the population that does not understand bitcoin.
Simply put “Bitcoin is essentially a digital currency for a digital age,” as said Ron Chiti of Top Casino Bonus. Bitcoin is a digital currency, which is created and stored electronically. There is no physical form for Bitcoin – they are not printed. It is decentralised, meaning it has no central authority or administrator. The details of any transaction, which are conducted peer-to-peer, are made using the currency and is recorded within an online ledger called the blockchain which is continually audited.
To generate Bitcoin, people use computer software to solve mathematical problems and in return can produce Bitcoin. This is referred to as ‘mining’. Even though it is said that only 21 million Bitcoin in total can be mined, in theory, anyone can join the online community and ‘mine’. As the software is open source, the mining activity and overall network can be monitored and regulated to ensure the network remains stable and secure.
To store Bitcoin securely, it is advised that the user acquires a security wallet, with the most common wallets installed either on the user’s desktop or on their mobile device. Each wallet is secured with encryption and accessed with a password.
This, to the everyday person on the street, is completely meaningless and Dr Kevin Curran, professor of cybersecurity at Ulster University believes the problem is “many people simply are unsure how to negotiate bitcoin and believe that for now the risks outweigh the benefits. Buying, selling, storing of bitcoins is still beyond what we can reasonably expect the public to understand.”
However, the attention Bitcoin has attracted of late is helping the currency to rise with those involved viewing it as the latest hot investment to have. Fortunes have been made and more is expected. They will obviously be looking at Bitcoin through rose tinted glasses. Despite this though, many have demanded a degree of caution due to the criminal interest that has surrounded the currency.
The cyber security uncertainty that surrounds Bitcoin is another reason many are sceptical when it comes to investing.
“Naturally, as the value and popularity of the currency rises, we expect more ransomware and ransom denial of service (RDoS) campaigns,” claimed Andrew Foxcroft, regional director for UK, Ireland and Nordics at Radware. “Bitcoin is the preferred currency for cyber criminals on the Darknet and it’s also the currency of choice for extortionists. As bitcoin continues to rise in value, cyber criminals will continue to rely on cryptocurrencies as a means for payment. The wallets and exchanges that house the currency will also be targeted at a persistent rate. In the past, hacktivists groups such as Anonymous launched denial-of-service attacks against PayPal after refusing to process payment for Wikileaks”
No one can truly say whether it is going to surpass currency that is currently being used. The rise of Bitcoin has been labelled as a ‘bubble’ – and a toxic bubble at that – and this has left many scratching their heads as to what the overall outcome will be when the Bitcoin bubble inevitably pops.