Bitcoin, the entirely-digital currency, has hit a record high in value, but could the bubble burst at any moment? Welcome back to What's Trending, I'm Martini Beerman Make sure to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE for more news

Bitcoin just hit a record high of $11,000 per coin That is a lot of dollars According to market watchers, in January, a bitcoin cost about $700 and in less than a year who soared to past $10,000 I'm not a mathematician, and I genuinely don't normally use stocks, but that seems like a huge increase Many people are seeing this as a sign that bitcoin is here to stay

And since I have money in bitcoin, oh do I hope it's here to stay Trader Tom Dante tweets, "Getting really bored of seeing people say, 'Bitcoin is a bubble,' and that it will crash Makes me think they've never witnessed a proper bubble" But other people are not so sure what to make of the news Paul Bassett Davies writes, "If I had a bitcoin for every time someone tried to explain bitcoins to me I'd have a lot of bitcoins, and no idea what to do with them

" You might have heard of bitcoin, but maybe you're confused about "cryptocurrency" So how does it all work? Cryptocurrencies are a digitally created currency Instead of cash being regulated by a central or federal bank, cryptocurrencies are administered by thousands of computers networked all across the world And this decentralization — meaning that the government is not involved in the money at all, they don't regulate it, they don't have anything to do with it — is what makes cryptocurrency so revolutionary And just because you've been hearing the word bitcoin in the news doesn't mean that bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency out there

Cryptocurrency is like Ripple, LiteCoin and Aetherium use similar technology and have also gone up in value So if you feel like you've missed that bitcoin train you can always go and invest in LiteCoin or Aetherium or any of the other many cryptocurrencies out there But what a lot of people don't realize, is that when you buy a bitcoin you don't have to actually buy a full coin Right now if bitcoin is up to $9,000 that does not mean that you have to spend $9,000 to get a coin You can actually get a fraction of a bitcoin

So if you have $50 in your pocket and you're like, 'I got nothing to do with this $50 Let's see if I can make some money off of it,' and you want to throw it into a Bitcoin, you might end up with like 00009 of a bitcoin, but that $50 could easily become $100 by tomorrow at the rate that bitcoin is going But just remember the bitcoin is like a stock, so just like other cryptocurrencies, is it can go up or down or just crash completely leaving you with nothing As bitcoin has recently surged in value, Ethereum also has seen a record high

Bitcoin, however, is still the market leader The same computers that processed Bitcoin transactions are also creating new bitcoins in a process called, "mining" The computers "mine" bitcoins by solving increasingly difficult puzzles with a special piece of software The transactions form a block of information called a "blockchain" Miners that donate their CPU power to allow Bitcoin to process transactions are awarded with bitcoins

However, the reward is then cut in half after a certain number of transactions It is estimated that around the year of 2140, the currency will reach its predetermined limit of 21 million bitcoins So with a limited supply, or a finite supply and increased demand, it means that the price ultimately should go up, but again this is a stock and it's all based on how much confidence the public has on it in order for it to thrive And I can't help wonder who is the strange genius who invented bitcoin The truth is that no one actually even knows

Satoshi Nakamoto is credited with writing the research paper that led to bitcoin's blockchain banking, but many speculate he's not one man, but an entire team Nakamoto barely had a trace online before the paper was published, and he disappeared soon after WikiLeaks began to accept donations in bitcoin So what is bitcoin good for? Obviously, you can buy stuff with it You can walk into a store with a gold bar, which obviously has value, and you can walk into a store with your bitcoin Now, you're not likely to be able to trade whatever it is in the store for that gold bar, but your virtual currency, your bitcoin, that's got a lot of value these days

In tech-friendly San Francisco, there are many merchants who accept bitcoins as well as cash, credit and debit And like other currencies, you can keep your cryptocurrency in a wallet Apps like coinbase allow users to buy, save and spend crypto- currencies, but there are other websites like bleutradcom which have a more comprehensive list of other cryptocurrencies that you probably wouldn't find on coinbase, which I think is limited to like three of the main ones Since using bitcoin is pretty much untraceable they've also been used in a lot of shady things

Bitcoin was a preferred method of payment for the now-defunct dark web marketplace, The Silk Road Shoppers could buy anything from marijuana and oxycontin, to automatic weapons It's also like a place for people to buy gross things like kid porn, or put a hit out on people I mean, I've read all kinds of crazy stuff that's happened in that black market But many people are using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for investing

In May of 2017, The Guardian profiled many young people in China who earned thousands trading bitcoin and speculating on the currency market But with any new currency comes new risk, and bitcoin is no stranger to that Bitcoin information is usually stored in a password-protected digital wallet, but if you're like me and you have like 75,000 passwords which you can't remember at any given point, what do you do if you forget your password? In 2015, it was estimated that about 30% of bitcoins mined so far have been lost for good Apps like coinbase insist that you use an authenticator app, which has a unique code should you lose your password or need to get into your account Also, added stress, you could lose your money to a hacker in an online robbery

In 2011, bitcoin exchange site Mt Gox was the target of a hack that simultaneously allowed the hacker to steal 2,000 bitcoins from customers and cause the value of Bitcoin to plummet Because, of course, if people don't feel like their money is secure in the currency, they sell And then that means that the currency goes down After the Mt

Gox incident, bitcoins fell to just $17 a share That is insane and I'm really sad that then isn't now So, yes You could lose your money in the cryptocurrency exchange, but when last I checked, my friends all told me not to keep any cash on my house, and just to go completely to online banking, and I'm pretty sure you can get hacked there too Shortly after the Mt

Gox theft, Bitomat, the third largest exchange at the time, had accidentally overwritten its entire wallet, deleting customers' money in an instant That is absolutely insane and terrifying, and again because there's no government involvement, there's no federal insurance that if something like this happens you're actually gonna have any cause to claim your money back By the summer of 2011, MyBitcoin, the oldest Bitcoin digital wallet service, stopped responding to emails and soon, 25,000 bitcoins were gone without a trace Experts are warning would-be bitcoin investors, like myself, to be aware of the risks The value of Bitcoin is still pretty volatile and subject to change

And if you're like me, you're kind of hoping it changes in a massive way so you can go right in there and buy, buy, buy In November of 2016, bitcoin was valued at $6,500 when it suddenly dropped $1,000 in value overnight, eventually falling to around $700 by January So if you're all about that rollercoaster thrill ride, then just hop right on the bitcoin train because it is not for the squeamish On Instagram, Katy Perry posted this photo of her asking billionaire investment guru, and one of the world's richest people, Warren Buffett, about cryptocurrency And Buffett seems to think that the bubble is about to burst

In a speech to business students this year, Buffett warned that, "You can't value bitcoin because it's not a value- producing asset" Adding, it was "a real bubble" And we're in kind of a weird impasse because money experts seem to think that it's doomed, while tech experts seem to think that this is incredible Tech guru John McAfee tweeted, "Bitcoin has accelerated much faster than my model assumptions I now predict bitcoin at $1 million by the end of 2020

I will still eat my d*ck if I'm wrong" He is a very hungry man Have you invested in bitcoin or other forms of cryptocurrency? For more trends head to whatstrending

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