EVER HEARD OF BITCOINS? WELL, THEY'RE WORTH AN ABSOLUTE FORTUNE AND COULD BECOME THE DEFAULT CURRENCY BY 2024.
In June 2011 Wikileaks and other organizations began to accept bitcoins for donations. The Electronic Frontier Foundation began, and then temporarily suspended, bitcoin acceptance, citing concerns about a lack of legal precedent about new currency systems. The EFF's decision was reversed on 17 May 2013 when they resumed accepting bitcoin.
On 22 March 2011 WeUseCoins published the first viral video  which has had over 6.4 million views. In September 2011 Vitalik Buterin co-founded Bitcoin Magazine. On 23 December 2011, Douglas Feigelson of BitBills filed a patent application for "Creating And Using Digital Currency" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, an action which was contested based on prior art in June 2013.
In January 2012, bitcoin was featured as the main subject within a fictionalized trial on the CBS legal drama The Good Wife in the third season episode "Bitcoin for Dummies". The host of CNBC's Mad Money, Jim Cramer, played himself in a courtroom scene where he testifies that he doesn't consider bitcoin a true currency, saying "There's no central bank to regulate it; it's digital and functions completely peer to peer".
In October 2012, BitPay reported having over 1,000 merchants accepting bitcoin under its payment processing service.
In February 2013 the bitcoin-based payment processor Coinbase reported selling US$1 million worth of bitcoins in a single month at over $22 per bitcoin. The Internet Archive announced that it was ready to accept donations as bitcoins and that it intends to give employees the option to receive portions of their salaries in bitcoin currency.
In March the bitcoin transaction log or "blockchain" temporarily forked into two independent logs with differing rules on how transactions could be accepted. The Mt. Gox exchange briefly halted bitcoin deposits and the exchange rate briefly dipped by 23% to $37 as the event occurred before recovering to previous level of approximately $48 in the following hours. In the US, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) established regulatory guidelines for "decentralized virtual currencies" such as bitcoin, classifying American "bitcoin miners" who sell their generated bitcoins as Money Service Businesses (or MSBs), that may be subject to registration and other legal obligations.
In April, payment processors BitInstant and Mt. Gox experienced processing delays due to insufficient capacity resulting in the bitcoin exchange rate dropping from $266 to $76 before returning to $160 within six hours.
Bitcoin gained greater recognition when services such as OkCupid and Foodler began accepting it for payment.
On 15 May 2013, the US authorities seized accounts associated with Mt. Gox after discovering that it had not registered as a money transmitter with FinCEN in the US.
On 23 June 2013, it was reported that the US Drug Enforcement Administration listed 11.02 bitcoins as a seized asset in a United States Department of Justice seizure notice pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881. It is the first time a government agency has claimed to have seized bitcoin.
In July 2013 a project began in Kenya linking bitcoin with M-Pesa, a popular mobile payments system, in an experiment designed to spur innovative payments in Africa. During the same month the Foreign Exchange Administration and Policy Department in Thailand stated that bitcoin lacks any legal framework and would therefore be illegal, which effectively banned trading on bitcoin exchanges in the country.
According to Vitalik Buterin, a writer for Bitcoin Magazine, "bitcoin's fate in Thailand may give the electronic currency more credibility in some circles", but he was concerned it didn't bode well for bitcoin in China.
On 6 August 2013, Federal Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas of the Fifth Circuit ruled that bitcoins are "a currency or a form of money" (specifically securities as defined by Federal Securities Laws), and as such were subject to the court's jurisdiction, and Germany's Finance Ministry subsumed bitcoins under the term "unit of account"—a financial instrument—though not as e-money or a functional currency, a classification nonetheless having legal and tax implications.
In October 2013, the FBI seized roughly 26,000 BTC from website Silk Road during the arrest of alleged owner Ross William Ulbricht.
Two companies, Robocoin and Bitcoiniacs launched the world's first bitcoin ATM on 29 October 2013 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, allowing clients to sell or purchase bitcoin currency at a downtown coffee shop.
In November 2013, the University of Nicosia announced that it would be accepting bitcoin as payment for tuition fees, with the university's chief financial officer calling it the "gold of tomorrow". In December Overstock.com announced plans to accept bitcoin in the second half of 2014.
In January 2014, Zynga announced it was testing bitcoin for purchasing in-game assets in seven of its games. That same month, The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel and Golden Gate Hotel & Casino properties in downtown Las Vegas announced they would also begin accepting bitcoin, according to an article by USA Today. The article also stated the currency would be accepted in five locations, including the front desk and certain restaurants.
In December 2013, the network exceeded 10 petahash/sec.
In January 2015 Coinbase raised 75 million USD as part of a Series C funding round, smashing the previous record for a bitcoin company.
In March 2015 21 LLC announced it had raised 116 million USD in venture funding, the largest amount for any digital currency-related companies.
As of August 2015 it was estimated that 160,000 merchants accept bitcoin payments.
Among the factors which may have contributed to this rise were the European sovereign-debt crisis—particularly the 2012–2013 Cypriot financial crisis—statements by FinCEN improving the currency's legal standing and rising media and Internet interest.The current all-time high was set on 29 November 2013 at US$1,242.00 on the Mt. Gox exchange.
As the market valuation of the total stock of bitcoins approached US$1 billion, some commentators called bitcoin prices In early April 2013, the price per bitcoin dropped from $266 to around $50 and then rose to around $100. Over two weeks starting late June 2013 the price dropped steadily to $70. The price began to recover, peaking once again on 1 October at $140. On 2 October, The Silk Road was seized by the FBI. This seizure caused a flash crash to $110.
The price quickly rebounded, returning to $200 several weeks later. The latest run went from $200 on 3 November to $900 on 18 November.bitcoin passed a US$1,000 all-time high on 28 November 2013 at Mt. Gox.
Could bitcoin be the future currency we use on a daily basis?
Is it a safe investment for the future? Perhaps not. However, it could still be well worth taking the risk.There are no guarantees with Bitcoin – despite the hype and current discussions surrounding the currency it still remains an unregulated currency, which means insurance coverage is hard to secure and it is not necessarily recognised by the countries you wish to use the coins in.
There is a serious lack of strong investment opportunities which can shield its funds from taxation – and this often puts off potential investors.
Bitcoin is still just seven years old, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. The growth of apps and programs like the 21 Bitcoin Computer have allowed developers to play around with the mining technology, and find ways to sharpen up the process.
In the future, mining could even take place on a smaller scale through mobile devices, as well as on a larger basis under corporate management. Researchers at VoucherBin found that 63% of shoppers are interested in using Bitcoin – but only just 11% of them have actually done so. It will also need to reach out and better inform consumers about how it works as there still seems to be a lot of confusing factors regarding the matter.