There are only 2 days left till the New Year – the 2014 is emerging and most of us seek positive changes and fulfillment of wishes. We are right on time to look back on the previous 12 months and to draw a line after the most determining and replete period of the life of the Bitcoin. The history has started back in the 2008, but the most terrific, important, exciting events took place this year, to engrave the year not only in IT and finance history, but surely in the chronicles of humanity, as cryptocurrencies have touched different aspects of our lives.
The Price of Bitcoin
The main topic of all conversations about and around Bitcoin has been its price. If we observe the statistics carefully and compare it with previous years, we can see that the currency has obtained its preferred price corresponding to it natural value only this year. The first fast increase has happened in April (266$) and can be reasoned with the attraction of many users and the popularization of the coin. The term became a popular search on the most engines, or, at least, was placed in the top-3 inquiries. The rather quiet summer has brought the society to a very dynamic autumn – the closing of a black market Silk Road, taking in custody of Ross Ulbricht, the owner of the platform, China changing its mind on the coin, statements and warnings from several countries around the world, new goods and services to be exchanged for virtual money have increased the price to beat gold with 1242 dollars per BTC. The current stability is surely associated with the busy holidays offering some other activities and necessities to the users, but many experts name the next year – the year of the Bitcoin among other sophisticated trends.
Society and Bitcoin in 2013 On the 28th of August Bitcoin received a license to live and to act – it was among other words of the update of the Oxford Dictionaries Online. It received a very humble and questionable definition: “a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank”, but it is sufficient to enter our language and become a household name. It merely exists and cannot be disputed.
It seems to be a ticket or even an introduction for merchants and servicemen to consider Bitcoin as a fair payment method. This year will definitely stay in our minds as a time, when numerous products started to be available for coin users and they also have been offered discounts for the loyalty to the virtual currency.
The digital coin allows an activist to provide all basic necessities. Recently, on the 25th December we have published a list of the pioneers of the healthcare branch, who are ready to monitor pregnancy (Fertility Care, is located in Brea, California, the USA), challenge a mind disorder (MindSci Psychiatric in New York, the USA), care for a spread ankle (Nordorthopaedics clinic in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania) and provide all necessary actions to the pets of the online environment users (Vetco form Albuquerque, New Mexico).
A healthy bitcoiner is also hungry. This problem was approached by many merchants – from burger stands in a district of London, to a whole chain providing fast-food. Subway sandwich outlets offer customers discounts for Bitcoin payments, becoming a global supporter of the initiative.
In case the user wishes to get something to please his/her soul, please, browse through numerous offers on the web, among them – music. Snoop Dogg (better say, Snoop Lion) and Mel B have voiced their wish to accept bitocin for their products – songs.
Even, if that is not enough and someone have thousands of coins left after he or she has covered his/her basic needs the luxury world can be observed. Virgin Galactic is ready to bring You to outer space since November, Riders Borja and Elvis can take You on a ride around Africa, Lamborghini can provide You with the most efficient and green vehicle around. In case You prefer to spend lazy hours at the swimming pool or would like to purchase a collection of fine China as an add on to a mansion – just contact Las Vegas property agent to free Jack and Laura Sommer from their luxurious burden.
And if something still is left, remember, receiving is as good as giving away, especially on Christmas. Sean’s Outpost accepts donations of Bitcoins to provide regular dinners or even establish a place to live and work for roofless.
Law and Order for Bitcoin in 2013
This year Bitcoin has made numerous attempts to leave the underground he was pushed by natural happenings. Time was necessary for the currency to establish a particular position, to enter the financial world with the same rights as fiat currencies and to try to replace them offering more advantages than anyone else.
As the year has started with a rise of price, the most developed countries presented the biggest coin user communities, among them the USA, Germany, Japan and several others. The first governmental institution to recognize the necessity of regulation was FinCEN. Senate hearing was hold in early fall featuring presentation of coin entrepreneurs and investors, Inside Bitcoin Conference aimed to clarify the matters and basics of the currency, merchants tried to register their business to stay aboard the official economy. The final decision was to register all the companies accepting Bitcoin as a matter of exchange by FinCEN to avoid anti-money laundering and to provide safety to the customers.
It seemed that this example might be determining for other countries. The European Banking Authority has issued a warning on all cryptographic currencies, among them Bitcoin. The biggest threats are seen in the unregulated nature, price fluctuations and the impossibility to return lost funds. The EU single countries have gone a little further and their opinions were rather different. France issued a similar comment, but Germany linked the coins with the term “private money” to ensure some support of the freedom of choice of its citizens.
The worst trap was created by the Chinese officials and the People’s Bank of China. The internet search engine Baidu decided to accept Bitcoin as a payment measure in November, and was followed by many smaller companies. The people of China have seen the diversification option in a virtual currency, but the government found a way to prohibit the use. There was no official ban claimed by the country, but banks and similar financial institutions were not allowed to service accounts for cryptocurrency exchange to or from fiat money, terminating the basic process of the coin society – depositing and withdrawing of funds.
Bitcoin Position in Business in 2013
The fact that the Bitcoin already has its own oligarchs and the amount is close to match the value of half a hundred speaks for it - the cryptographic currency is worth mining, investing and developing.
eBay president John Donahue, running PayPal, stated that digital currency is “very powerful thing” encouraging the society to use and invest in Bitcoin businesses.
The Japanese exchange platform Mt.Gox serviced his millionth customer in December, being among the top-3 resources processing the Bitcoin transactions. The collaboration with Mayzus Financial Services inaugurated a new era and made the link between cryptocurrencies and fiat money more close and strong.
The first Bitcoin ATM, owned by Bitcoiniac startup, was installed in Vancouver. The terminal provides an easy way for Bitcoin users to buy, exchange and withdraw funds and attracts new people being a great advertising item. The company plans to install such units London, Berlin, Toronto and Montreal and to widen the network as new orders for such machines were received from other companies.
Very encouraging news were also present from Russia. The first signal was given by German Gref from SberBank, who emphasized the idea that the future belongs to digital currencies and their development cannot be stopped. The financial institution sees the possibility to develop its own equivalent of the digital coin on the base and experience of Yandex Money. Only some weeks later the information that the Bitcoin as a trademark is attempted to be registered in the country by two parties - Boris Bulochnik (the former owner of the once existing Master Bank) and textile company “M-Group”, who got interested in telecommunications.
The Technological Aspects of Bitcoin in 2013
As the basic principles of Bitcoin network - from mining to spending – is developed and determined, the key inventions in the branch might consider the aspects of safety and reliability of services. The most research works and experiments this year have featured scientists bothering on possible violations of the network – hiding of mind coins, theft of money from private and service platform wallets, coin mixers and other opportunities to lose money or gain illegal funds.
Scientists Ittay Eyal and Ermin Gun Sirer from Cornell University stated the idea that mined coins can be kept private by people who extracted them. The modern technology and updates to the initial software together with different manipulations allow omitting a record on the Block Chain of some block of coins. This fact points out the possibility to spend the same coin several times, which was impossible till now.
GamersGoneTech’s Jason Schaumleffel among other experts has commented on the security level of the wallets. He has launched a video on YouTube.com given a guideline summary on methods how to avoid loosing of money. His basic slogan is “encryption” that is no surprise as it goes without saying.
The questions on safety, reliability and trustworthiness of the network was asked when numerous BTC have left the platform SheepMarketplace, where followed, but the culprit was not determined.
The end of the year has brought more positive news – Island has now a huge mining center based on green energy and cooling, but the SolarMiner USB2 allows processing coins at home and without huge electricity bills.
Besides this news, Cointelegraph was able to cover the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency world 24/7 providing our dear readers with most relevant, authentic and fast information possible. It was a very important year for us – we have started our work and seeing your interest, we understand the necessity to go on and to make our online magazine even better. We would like to speak aloud our honest gratitude to all our supporters, journalists, commentators, contributors, technicians, administration and our READERS. We wish You all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year! May 2014 be a year of success, wealth, love and piece!