If you have even a passing interest in Bitcoin, you will no doubt be aware of the various controversies and uncertainties that have surrounded the cryptocurrency in recent months, with worries over its very existence moving forward having been raised.
Chief amongst these concerns was the recent ban on cryptocurrency exchanges in China after regulators deemed raising funds through ICOs unlawful. It seems, however, that despite the initial panic plunge that Bitcoin experienced in the confusion of the aftermath of the announcement, the digital currency has firmly found its feet once more, shrugging off any naysayers and even going on to hit an all-time high of more than $6000 for the first time.
Much of this rise is being put down to an upcoming ‘fork’ in Bitcoin, in which the currency will essentially split, leading to the creation of a whole new currency – known as Bitcoin gold. Considering that holders of Bitcoins will receive some of this new currency immediately upon its creation, they stand to technically gain free money, hence the boost in value and interest.
It’s not all plain sailing
Success brings with it its own range of problems, however, with the latest stumbling block between Bitcoin and full mainstream consumer acceptance being the current surge in coin-mining malware. In response to the blossoming value of Bitcoin, hackers have been concealing code on various sites that uses the processing power of a visitor’s computer to generate, or ‘mine’, the sought-after e-cash, which is how it’s created in the first place.
Steps are already being taken to counteract this problem, with many anti-virus firms having updated their software so that it is able to identify and stop the process in its tracks, as well as the introduction of an authorised version of the mining software and suggestions of a possible permission note, so that users would be able to opt in or out and would thus be fully aware of what was going on, as the main concern currently is that people have no knowledge that their computer is being used, with devices often being seemingly inexplicably sapped of their battery charge.
So, whilst it seems Bitcoin has yet to see the back of adversity and challenges to its reputation as a safe, regulated and reliable form of currency, if the past few months have proven anything, it’s that it’s far more resilient, adaptable and durable than many people would have previously given it credit for, meaning it now feels safer to say that Bitcoin seems here to stay.