Bitcoin Prices Surge

Graphic by Jack Stromberg

Peyton Downing, Source Editor

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Bitcoin is the first of a new form of currency known as a cryptocurrency. It is a completely digital form of currency, so it has no physical value. Instead, its value is determined by the overall demand and supply of the digital currency. Bitcoin was originally made in 2009, created by a developer known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

In 2017, the price of Bitcoin surged, reaching as high as $20,000 per bitcoin. While many factors are involved in this development, some of its success can be attributed to the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies in other governments around the world. Japan, for example, has legalized using bitcoin as a payment method, which has increased its overall demand in that market.

Some believe that the obsession with Bitcoin is a phase that will soon pass.

“It’s a house of cards,” economics teacher David Aldinger said.

Aldinger claims that Bitcoin is ultimately worthless, and its price will eventually reflect such.

“Each currency has three things: standard of value, store of value and means of exchange.”

Bitcoin has no government or physical object backing it – only the fact that it’s limited to increase value – leading Aldinger to believe that eventually it will crash.

“They’re like Chuck E. Cheese tokens,” Aldinger said.

Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency out in the world now. Many alternative cryptocurrencies, or ‘altcoins,’ also exist, including garlicoin, dogecoin and ethereum. None, however, have had the success that Bitcoin has achieved.

The rise of Bitcoin has brought great returns to early investors, although some have missed out on the good fortune.

“I had my passwords on my laptop,” junior Eric Myhrer said. “My mom had bought me a new one and threw out my old one.”

Myhrer got into bitcoin early, buying in bulk when the price was still low.

“I bought about 100 below $10 back in 2012,” he said.

While people like Myhrer didn’t sell because they lost access to their wallet, others still have held their Bitcoins through the spike.

“Never sell, always HODL[sic],” senior Richard Ding said.

Ding believes that Bitcoin is the future of currency.

“You can give a [Bit]coin to anyone across the world without it going through a bank,” Ding said. “That’s a powerful thing.”

Ding purchased his Bitcoins in early 2017, and despite the price hike later in the year, he is still ‘hodl’ing in hopes of prices hitting even higher.

“I won’t sell until it hits $1 million,” Ding said.

After its massive spike in 2017, Bitcoin’s price has sunk back down to a more stable level, settling at about $9,000 per bitcoin as of Feb 1.

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