Five years ago very few would have thought of Bitcoin as anything more than a novelty… a curiosity for the digital age, and a symbol for the anarcho-capitalist fringe. But the foresight behind Bitcoin was more in the creator(s) understanding of banking than it has been in forging a rebellious construct to the long-standing system of private central banking.
So for many of course, it is a very big surprise that in 2015, the best currency in the world was not the dollar, nor the Euro, nor the rising Yuan, but the crypto-currency itself.
Bitcoin is the top performing currency of 2015. According to The Money Project, the decentralized digital currency beat the US$ by 35 percent .
Bloomberg View called the turnaround “comeback of the year” as bitcoin was also the top performing currency of 2013, but the worst currency of 2014, feeding into the virtual money’s renowned volatility.
Along with the currency’s recent popularity has come the re-emergence of bitcoin mining.
Anyone with the technological resources and brainpower to solve complex computational problems can mine bitcoin, and get paid for their efforts in the digital currency, therefore creating more bitcoin in the market.
While mining became less popular as the rate fell from its peak of $1,137 in 2013 to $13 less than two years later, it seems that groups of miners that share computing power to harvest bitcoin more quickly are making a comeback.
BTCC told Bloomberg Business “Everyone in our pool is making money, because people who aren’t making money would not have their machines turned on”. – Russia Today
Bitcoin has the potential for expansion in 2016 in places like Europe due to the rise of anti-euro and anti-EU sentiment that have already led to two referendums of secession within sovereign states (Scotland and Catalonia), and victories for far left political parties that are more amenable to the crypto-currency. And since austerity has forced nations like Greece, Portugal, and Spain to restrict the free flow of money due to their insolvent banking systems, the use of Bitcoin on ‘Main Street’ is moving from necessity to an environment that is now more commonplace.
The three issues that could keep Bitcoin from becoming a fully recognized global currency remain the same. The lack of most retailers from accepting it, the complications for large portions of a population from understanding and transitioning into a purely digital use of money, and the likelihood of government’s cracking down on its use in lieu of their fiat currency models. But in the end, Bitcoin now appears here to stay, and unless the world economies find a way to reset back to a metal based form of money, those who are literate in the use of Bitcoin could come out ahead when the system the world now uses finally collapses.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for Secretsofthefed.com, Examiner.com, Roguemoney.net, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.