A week ago, there were fewer than 100,000 Bitcoins in circulation, but the digital currency has surged to over $2,500.
That surge is driven by demand from the U.S. and the European Union, which have enacted laws that legalize the digital coin as payment for goods and services.
“It’s an interesting time for cryptocurrencies,” Mark Karpeles, a venture capitalist and chief investment officer at Andreessen Horowitz, told Ars in an interview earlier this month.
“There are some companies that are looking at doing some crypto-related stuff, but for the most part it’s just not a big deal.”
Karpelsons firm invests in digital currency companies.
Bitcoin, by contrast, has become a darling among Wall Street investors, who have poured more than $100 million into digital currency startups.
“If you look at the market capitalization of Bitcoin, they’re worth over $1 trillion,” said Karpes.
“I think there are a lot of investors out there that are really passionate about Bitcoin and this is the new frontier for them.”
Kaspersky Lab is one of the leading security experts on the crypto space, and the company recently introduced a software update that helps it thwart Bitcoin attacks.
Kasperskies research has shown that the currency’s decentralized network makes it harder for attackers to disrupt its operations.
“Bitcoin has been around for about 20 years,” Karpets said.
“They’re in an old, very old, really insecure software.
They can’t do anything with the coins, and they’re all just locked up in a single place.
That’s a big advantage.”
Karspeys cybersecurity firm has been working to protect against the digital money’s growing power.
Last month, the company announced a new product that it called the Crypto Network Security Kit, which will make it possible for users to buy and sell their Bitcoins online.
The crypto money has the potential to make its way into other industries as well, though it may not be in your favorite tech startup’s immediate future.
“The more people are doing this, the more it becomes more difficult for Bitcoin to stay relevant,” said Mike Hearn, a professor of information systems and privacy at Carnegie Mellon University.
“But it could also be that the Bitcoin ecosystem gets bigger and more dominant.”
Hearn said it could be the next big tech bubble, a sort of bubble that burst in 2008.
The real-world impact of the digital cash could be much less dramatic.
“What happens if someone comes along and takes Bitcoin away from the ecosystem and uses it to buy a car?”
“Is that going to have any effect on the value of Bitcoin?
As digital currency’s popularity grows, it’s attracting more attention from the government.
Last week, the Federal Reserve said it would begin issuing its first fiat currency, the Bitcoin, in 2021.
Bitcoin could be one way that the U