Bitcoin’s rise in popularity sparking debate over digital currency


Photo by Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters

Bitcoin causes debate over what the real worth of this cryptocurrency is and how it compares to the dollar bill.

   Bitcoin, a digital currency that has become more and more noticeable, reaches a new high and raises the question: will Bitcoin become an economic revolution? Several days ago, Bitcoin reached an all time high surpassing $50,000. Many celebrities and companies have even expressed interest in this cryptocurrency. According to Fox Business, celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan, Maisie Williams, Gene Simmons, and Logic have all expressed their interest in Bitcoin.

   Tesla has become a big company involved in Bitcoin. As a company, they have $1.5 million dollars invested in Bitcoin. Tesla has even said that they will start accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment. The company owner, Elon Musk, has spoken on multiple occasions about his interest in Bitcoin.

   “I do at this point think Bitcoin is a good thing, and I am a supporter of Bitcoin” said Elon Musk in an interview on the audio chat app, Clubhouse.

   Not only has Tesla shown interest in this currency, but banks such as Mastercard and the Bank of New York have expressed interest in Bitcoin. Mastercard has said it is preparing to support cryptocurrencies on its network, providing the people the option to use certain cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

   Local organizer of the Raleigh Bitcoin Meetup, Stephe Jeffress, expressed his ideas on the breakthroughs that Bitcoin has made.

   “Because the breakthrough was discovered by an anonymous individual, instead of a university, government, or corporation, the incredible intellectual achievement of bitcoin is not being given much attention. Bitcoin solved a computer science problem known as the bysantin general’s problem, which is what allows bitcoin to operate without any central authority. Before this breakthrough, digital monetary systems always required a central authority as the ultimate administrator of the database.” explained Jeffress.

   While there have been many supporters of this new currency, some people remain skeptical over the legitimacy and stability of Bitcoin. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned the public about the dangers that Bitcoin poses for the people involved. Bill Gates even expressed his concern over the energy use it takes to mine Bitcoin. 

   “To the extent it is used I fear it’s often for illicit finance. It’s an extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions, and the amount of energy that’s consumed in processing those transactions is staggering.” Yellen told CNBC at a New York Times DealBook conference.

   Bitcoin has also seen major fluctuation in price throughout its existence. Since its peak of about $58,000; Bitcoin has dropped back down to just under $50,000. The comments from Bill Gates, Janet Yellen, and a tweet from Elon Musk caused a major decline in the price of Bitcoin making it appear unreliable.

   “Whether or not Bitcoin becomes the dominant form of money remains to be seen. What we are seeing so far is that if bitcoin does replace the dollar as the dominant form of money, that the transition will probably not be a smooth one.  If the price of Bitcoin were to reach $1 million in the next decade, there will certainly be large jumps and dips along the way.” said Jeffress about the stability of Bitcoin.

   Even so, Bitcoin has maintained a loyal following. From major companies, like Tesla, to local people, like Jeffress, Bitcoin brings opportunity for opening brand new doors for the way people interact with and use currency.