By Heather Newlin, Copy Editor —
I’ve been playing a lot of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp in the recent weeks since its launch in late November, and I am starting to understand the temptation of spending money on an app… spending $1 on a digital monarch butterfly sometimes seems worth it.
Digital currencies take it one step further, backing value into currencies digitally instead of with tangible assets (like gold, or, yes, digital butterflies). Bitcoin, introduced in 2013, is a digital currency gaining value at the rate of approximately… an insane amount. According to The Atlantic, one bitcoin was worth $12 in 2013, and is now worth more than $10,000. In the last two months, the value of bitcoin has increased more than 100 percent.
So far, Bitcoin is far from being able to be used in an everyday transaction: payments can take up to ten minutes to process. However, the decentralized control removes the fears of the government owning all of the money, and the blockchain, the online ledger that records and approves all Bitcoin transactions, blocks counterfeiting and double-spending.
Bitcoin has long been more credible than it seems. Derek Thompson writes, “People believe that they are money, and so they are.” Venture capital legitimized Bitcoin after its value tripled within a month to $900, and ever since, the “curiosity and cash from Silicon Valley” has raised the value ever higher.