Good news wasn’t exactly abundant in 2020.
Our pillows were soaked with tears for most of the year thanks to new developments concerning the coronavirus, border restrictions, and a lack of bubble tea.
But now that 2020 has finally ended, the good news can start flowing.
For some people, at least.
Bitcoin Hit Record High of US$30k As 2021 Begins
If you own Bitcoin, you’re about to be a very happy camper.
Prices for the leading cryptocurrency surpassed US$30,000 on Saturday (2 Jan) for the first time, hitting a record high.
It previously passed US$20,000 on 16 Dec, nearly 12 years after it was first made available to the public.
Some believe Bitcoin could compete more intensely with gold as an ‘alternative’ currency in the future, as the financial world goes digital.
The cryptocurrency has soared in popularity since October, when PayPal announced it would enable account holders to use cryptocurrency.
This would also allow customers to use the virtual money to shop at the 26 million merchants on its network.
But what exactly is Bitcoin, and why are so many people investing in it?
Like an Online Version of Cash
Bitcoin was first invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the presumed pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.
As the BBC put it, it’s like an online version of cash; digital or virtual currency.
Each Bitcoin is essentially a digital file, stored in a ‘digital wallet’ app on a smartphone or computer.
Bitcoin owners can send their Bitcoins from their computers to these digital wallets, and also to other people.
Every transaction is recorded in a public list called the blockchain.
People get Bitcoins either by paying for it with real money, selling things in exchange for Bitcoin, or creating them using a computer.
So, why do people like and want Bitcoins?
Not Controlled by Governments or Banks
Firstly, anything can be valuable as long as we deem it to be.
If the world suddenly deemed toilet paper to be worth a great deal of money, toilet paper could be as valuable as Bitcoin, as long as people are willing to exchange other items or even cash for it.
Salt, for example, was a very popular form of currency during the Romans’ time.
Some owners also like Bitcoin because it isn’t controlled by the government or any banks.
And while every single transaction is recorded, it is attached to an account number and not a name, meaning you could spend your Bitcoins anonymously.
The decentralised virtual currency fetched a price of US$30,823.30 on Saturday, and more historic highs could follow, according to analyst Timo Emden.
This is because “the appetite for risk” in buyers “remains unshakeable”.
Featured Image: Jaruwan Jaiyangyuen / Shutterstock.com
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