You may not have noticed but Bitcoin, the world’s highest-profile Cryptocurrency, reached its ninth birthday three days ago. The currency, which is now the subject of intense media speculation and regular barbs from major figures in the financial services industry, such as Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan, had a fairly subdued birth. Its launch was covered only by specialist tech publications and even they didn’t really get it at the time.
So what have nine years of Bitcoin taught us? We’ve rounded up the three biggest changes that Bitcoin has ushered in – just in case you need a little bringing up to speed.
Cryptocurrencies are now mainstream
People may not be spending them in the supermarket yet but most normal people have at least heard of Bitcoin. Many members of the public lump Bitcoin into the same category as gold or other precious metals that are used as investment commodities. They don’t really understand how they’re created but they know that they’re worth a lot of money. This level of interest has helped to turn Bitcoin into a mainstream investment far more quickly than many people expected.
Bitcoin is still a popular PR gimmick
From vending machines to paying your rent or booking a flight, it seems like announcing a new and unusual way to spend or acquire Bitcoin is still a pretty quick route to news coverage. Whilst this may seem trivial, all of this coverage has helped to turn Bitcoin into the media star it is today.
The design of Bitcoin was a stroke of genius
One of the problems with any cryptocurrency is that you only have one chance to get the specification right. Once it’s released to the world, you have to live with the decisions you made. So far, it looks like the creator of Bitcoin made all of the right ones. The value has continued to climb and the mining algorithm has yet to be cracked. Whether this will remain the case is still to be seen.
A lot has happened to Bitcoin in the last year and there’s still a long way to go in the story. Whilst it’s fun to imagine what may happen in the next nine years, it’s almost impossible to predict what changes may have taken place by the time Bitcoin is 10.