It was the second week of February 2013 when I first ventured a public opinion that Bitcoin is the real deal. The dollar exchange rate was at $25, on its way toward another run-up and crash that had been the pattern for two years.
I had just returned from a conference where some Bitcoiners surrounded me and force-fed me the information I needed to know. It would take another two months before I wrapped my brain around it enough to be able to write an article. But in these early days, it was enough publicly to dispense with incredulity to cause the ceiling to fall in.
The use of bitcoins instead of Venezuelan national currency, the bolivar, for work and trade purposes is growing due to economic problems and the soaring inflation rate, media reported on Friday.
The number of users has increased from 450 in August 2014 to more than 85,000 in November this year, according to the brokerage website Surbitcoin.com.
“Bitcoin is mainstream neither in Venezuela nor in the world but there is a growing interest in the technology… With Cryptobuyer, we convert bitcoins into bolivars and help Venezuelans pay for daily life necessities, such as mobile phones recharges, television, water and electricity bills as well as banks transfers in bolivars,” Jorge Farias, the CEO of cryptobuyer.io exchange platform, said, as cited by the Guardian.
The Internal Revenue Service has dropped the ball on bitcoin and left users with little choice but noncompliance. Agency officials may have been in denial for the past few years, but the weight of criticism from both government and independent watchdogs appears to have jolted them into action.
Their knee-jerk response, however, is thin on introspection and does zero to facilitate legal use of the cryptocurrency. To make up for lost time and cast fear into the hearts of bitcoin users across the country, the IRS is demanding to know the transaction records and identities of every single client from 2013 to 2015 of the largest bitcoin trading platform in the United States.
With confidence in Kazakhstan’s national currency at an all-time low, some see an opening for the ascent of digital currencies, of which Bitcoin is perhaps the best known.
Daniyar Akishev, the youthful head of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, appeared to row against the tide of official wariness on the issue earlier this year, when he revealed that a working group had been created to study what he described as surrogate currencies.
“This is a reality with which we will come up against in the very near future, and ignoring it is not possible,” he said in June.
While Bitcoin may have had its ups and downs, it is certainly a trend that seems to be here to stay, with more users everyday. But newer users may be off to a rockier start, with rewards from mining cut in half.
The rewards from mining Bitcoin just got cut in half, after code written into the digital currency kicked in last July 9.
When Bitcoin was released in 2008, it had code that reduced the reward from bitcoin mining by half every four years. This keeps in check the currency’s inflation, due to the growing number of miners and ever-faster computers that mine for them.