The controversial cryptorcurrency Bitcoin crossed the $1,000 earlier today and has nearly doubled in value since it hit a low of $535 on MtGox in mid-December 2013. Bolstered by announcements from retailer Overstock, which stated it would begin accepting Bitcoin as payment later this year, as well as ongoing uncertainty in global financial markets, and the ever-growing mistrust of Central Banking.
Bitcoin was created in the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis by a shadowy figure known only as “Satoshi” – whether this is the creator’s true name or merely a nom de plume remains unknown – and relies on a massive network of ‘miners’ to authorize and decrypt transactions across what’s known as the BlockChain.
Many supporters believe that Bitcoin can capture up to 10% of all global payments, implying a value of more than $1 Million per BTC. Detractors note that the network, while secured by state of the art encryption, is still subject to backdoors by the NSA and other hackers. Bitcoin’s anonymous nature also leads itself to use in the Black Market, which runs the gamut from gambling and drugs to prostitution and money laundering.
Bitcoin’s all-time high was $1,200 on December 4th, 2013.