‘Cryptocurrencies’; or digital user-generated currencies based on cryptography, or code-cracking a finite supply of coded units, which in turn bestows ownership and commonly agreed value to the person who decodes the unit; may sound like science fiction, but the reality is they are here, and here to stay.
Virtual money is now a reality.
Virtual currencies are not just the play things of cyber nerds and computer hackers; they have moved into the mainstream.
If you are smart or lucky enough to own them; you can now buy everything from pizza to consulting services with the world’s first and largest crytopcurrency: Bitcoin.
In fact, according to the Mail and Gaurdian, one New Yorker is trying to sell his two million dollar apartment – for its equivalent value in bitcoins.
But even more importantly, you can now exchange bitcoins on the open market, at a rate of 146.95 US dollars to a single bitcoin. This means the market has recognised the value of this invisible, un-backed currency.
There are already over 11 million bitcoins in existence, collectively worth over billion US dollars.
That’s a lot of value bestowed upon a currency that was only invented in 2009 by an anonymous computer genius.
Their massive value is attributed to their scarcity; bitcoins are notoriously difficult to ‘mine’ (or decode) and the algorithm the currency is based on ensures that only 21 million bitcoins will ever be issued. This means that over time bitcoins could become more valuable than gold.
In fact, it is predicted that in our lifetime, we will see entire luxury homes sold for a single bitcoin.
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