Since its launch in 2009, Bitcoin has been a global phenomenon. In this article, we will be discussing what exactly Bitcoin is, how it works and the future of Bitcoin. First of all, what is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is one of many examples of Cryptocurrencies- these are currencies which are wholly digital. This means that Bitcoin does not actually have any physical form, it is entirely virtual in nature. Cryptocurrency was first introduced into the world in the dawn of 2009, by a person/ group of people under the mysterious Pseudonym of Satashi Nakamoto and ever since then, Bitcoin has skyrocketed in popularity.

A main question which often comes up is: “What is so special about Bitcoin?” A significant worry in the hearts of many people is the issue of privacy and anonymity, Bitcoin aims to help with this. Bitcoin is an example of a decentralised currency- a currency which is not under the jurisdiction of governments and therefore you have much more control over your money, without the prying eyes of officials. This idea has really stuck with people and since then, many have started investing in Bitcoin. The extent of this is shown by a shocking statistic: in 2009, 1 bitcoin used to be worth 1 cent, now it is worth over 50,000 dollars!

Another fundamental question is: “How does Bitcoin work?” In basic terms, a bitcoin is a computer file which can be transferred between individual’s digital “wallets”. Each and every transaction that is ever made is stored on a public file called the blockchain. In order to obtain Bitcoin you must complete a process called Bitcoin mining, in which extremely powerful supercomputers solve complex, abstract mathematical problems. When one sum is solved, a Bitcoin is produced.

Despite the continuous success, last weekend on Saturday 17th April and Sunday 18th April there was a plummet in the value of Bitcoin, losing 10,000 dollars in value in a single weekend! There are many speculations about why this happened. Some experts claim that the crash was due to a power outage in the Xinjiang area in China, which is a major place for Bitcoin mining. However, many claim that this crash was just a by-product of the notorious volatility of Bitcoin and that such crashes and spikes in value should be expected.

So, what is the fate of Bitcoin? Some experts claim that this current crash is part and parcel of using a volatile currency and we should be wary, knowing that it is possible that a crash can result in a complete collapse at any time. However, many influential individuals such as Elon Musk herald Bitcoin claiming that it will be even more successful in the future. There are still many answers required however, which only time will be able to tell.