A lot of us made up our minds regarding Bitcoin a few years ago. People tended to fall into one of three different categories. The first was those who believed Bitcoin was the currency of the future. The second was folks who didn’t really care one way or the other. The third was people who specifically believed that Bitcoin would crash and burn before it became a viable asset or currency.
Several years into the existence of this leading cryptocurrency, we’re beginning to see a picture of how those different beliefs have fared. Those who believed in Bitcoin have been vindicated, and those who disregarded it as a fad may be regretting that decision. If you fell into the middle category, which would seem to be the largest by a good margin, you may still be making up your mind about cryptocurrencies.
Deciding whether or not to buy it (or use it) is a personal decision for everyone to make independently. But if you’re in that middle category, here are a few reasons why you should at least give Bitcoin some attention.
The Price Is Destroying Expectations
Bitcoin’s price has been performing remarkably well for the past year or two. Just when people think it’s reached a temporary cap, or that it’s due for a correction, it always seems to break new barriers and soar higher. That’s probably not a trend that can continue for too long without some kind of sustained lull, but it’s difficult to say with a commodity that’s still developing. The price recently hit a new all-time high at just over $1,400, and some think it could hit five digits in the coming years.
Alternatives Are Falling Further Behind
A lot of people assumed for a while that Bitcoin would ultimately fall prey to one of its competitors, which are often referred to as “Alt-coins.” About a year ago Ethereum, one of the leading Alt-coins, was hailed as a serious competitor with the potential to transform industries. Litecoin has also been discussed as a new pioneer of sorts. The thinking has been that Bitcoin’s true innovation, the Blockchain, would last, but Bitcoin itself would lose out to a more thoroughly perfected counterpart. This doesn’t seem to be happening several years into the trend of countless alternatives emerging. Some Alt-coins are perfectly viable investments on their own, but Bitcoin is still way out in front.
Gaming Markets Are Taking Notice
If this seems like a niche, you may want to think again. Online gaming markets see an incredible amount of financial turnover, and there have recently been signs that they’re embracing cryptocurrencies. Specifically, NetBet became the first UK company to accept Bitcoin for online casino play, which should spark a trend. This has the potential to open up a massive new market for Bitcoin use, which should in turn lead to greater demand and potentially even stronger prices. We’re in the early stages of this development, but it’s yet another sign of a large market deciding that Bitcoin should be taken seriously.
The U.S. Has Defined Bitcoin
This is actually older news. If you’re in that category of people who took the “wait and see” approach to Bitcoin, one of your questions might have been what it’s for. For a while, many of us didn’t know if we should think about Bitcoin as a true alternative to regular currency, or as more of an investment asset like gold or silver. In the fall of 2015 the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (or CFTC) officially ruled that Bitcoin should be treated as a commodity. That doesn’t mean it can’t be used in transactions (it can, and in more and more places), but it might put some people at ease that there are many others who treat it more as an asset.
None of this is meant as an endorsement of Bitcoin or a nudge to invest. Given all of these factors, it’s become clearer that we should all at least keep an eye on it as it becomes a more valuable commodity.