Bitcoin has had a short but eventful life. From its inception in a 2008 essay written by prominent developer Satoshi Nakamoto, the currency has grown to become a legitimate rival to traditional monetary systems like dollars and Euros. This year continued Bitcoin’s upward trend with a number of significant milestones for the increasingly popular cryptocurrency.
One of the most significant (and ongoing) developments in Bitcoin this year is the growth of the iGaming sector and, with it, the number of online casinos that operate in the currency exclusively. Vegas Casino is a good example. With a Bitcoin ‘faucet’ build into the site and a 1000 millibitcoin bonus for new starters, vegascasino is an important demonstration of faith in Nakamoto’s endeavour.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the more noteworthy achievements in Bitcoin’s year.
April – Steam Begins Accepting Bitcoin
Steam, a part of Valve, is a digital distribution platform that sells PC games and related hardware. The company began accepting Bitcoin in April as a means for customers in developing countries to avoid high interest rates and other charges like cross-border fees. Valve joins similar tech firms like Newegg and Microsoft in allowing Bitcoin payments.
June – Brexit Boosts Bitcoin
The value of Bitcoin jumped 9% following Britain’s controversial decision to leave the European Union. In contrast, the pound slumped 8%. On the same day, the currency gained a new set of supporters in people looking to hide their money from the unpredictable market. Bitcoin gained a new nickname – ‘digital gold’.
September – Transaction Volume Surpasses $100bn
In September, Bitcoin’s ‘transaction volume’ (a metric describing the amount of goods and services purchased in the currency, as well as things like Bitcoin transferred to store in digital wallets) reached $100bn. While there’s a heavy emphasis on investing and saving in Bitcoin, the movement of currency for any reason is a promising sign.
October – Bill Gross Stands behind Bitcoin
Bill Gross is a billionaire financial manager; he’s also arguably one of the most influential Bitcoin advocates out there, along with Sir Richard Branson. Gross recently hinted that cryptocurrency could serve as a way for investors to avoid negative interest rates and the banks gambling on unproven markets.
November – Bitcoin Piggybacks off Donald Trump’s Success
The price of Bitcoin (currently at $712) climbed a whole $30 following the news that Donald Trump had won the US election. The development surprised finance moguls but the currency’s spike in value was due to a lack of faith in standard markets around the time of the election. Bitcoin was simply a safer place to invest than the dollar on election night.
As a final point, here’s a quick prediction for 2017. Bitcoin is in its ascendancy and, with existing support from high-profile investors, it’s hard to see anything but additional growth for the cryptocurrency over the next few years. The more excitable predictions are promising values of $1-2,000 per Bitcoin but a gentler growth rate would give the currency a more sustainable future value.