The Bitcoin is a virtual currency that traditionally has a very high value in the form of currency in the real world. Bitcoin has had a bad week with Norway dismissing it as a currency. A major bitcoin exchange in China, called BTC China, has hit the virtual currency hard after announcing that it would no longer accept deposits in Chinese yuan.
There's a bit more doubt in the power of Bitcoin in the world today - just a bit less significant than the major announcement of China dismissing Bitcoin, but important nonetheless: Norway has stepped out. Making clear that they've got no intention of (immediately) allowing Bitcoin to jump in on their economy, the government of Norway has effectively disavowed the digital cash. Investors in Norway have taken note, without a doubt.
Litecoin mining has quietly undergone a sharp rise in popularity in recent days. The cryptocurrency is an alternative to Bitcoin, which recently saw a meteoric rise in value to about $1200 before dropping off and settling in at the mid-$800 range. Litecoin's sudden breakout has resulted in a worldwide run on graphics cards used in mining Litecoins.
Virtual currency Bitcoin got its biggest shot of serious investment and arguably most legitimate backing to-date this week, with a $25m round of funding by digital account firm Coinbase lending more respectability to the controversial tech. Coinbase, which holds the virtual Bitcoin accounts for around 600,000 investors, not only manages virtual wallets but also the merchant tools required to accept Bitcoin as payment.
As far as digital currency goes, Bitcoin is the word on all interested parties' lips, but that could possibly (it pays to be optimistic) change in the coming months with the introduction of Dogecoin, a Bitcoin-esque digital offering that is based on, oddly enough, the Doge meme. There are some fundamental differences between Bitcoin and Dogecoin, not the least of which is that the latter's value mostly depends on how much someone is willing to give you for it.
The so-called "Google of China", Baidu, has stopped accepting Bitcoin as payment on any of its online properties -- as has China Telecom. This near-synchronous cessation of payment transactions for the two companies in the digital currency, many believe, exacerbated the recent sudden downturn of Bitcoin's long and unprecedented rise in value. The USD Bitcoin value currently stands at $679.43 according to CoinDesk, down from $1,147 just before the People's Bank of China all but outlawed the payment option for banks.
Both sides of the Bitcoin war appear to be making giant strides toward winning out - either dismissing the coin entirely, or making it more acceptable to use with big purchases. Today a Lamborghini dealership in Newport Beach has announced that a purchase has been made from them in the form of a brand new Tesla Model S. This electric vehicle was the first in a line of Bitcoin purchases from the dealer: they'll be accepting Bitcoin from this point forward.
A number of online services and firms currently accept the virtual currency known as Bitcoin as payment. Bitcoins have also been in headlines with thefts of thousands of the virtual coins by hackers in cases like the Inputs.io breach last month. That theft saw $1.23 million in Bitcoins stolen.
Bitcoin's value continues to soar as the digital currency is embraced by some and banned by others, becoming a valid method of payment at more than a few locations and even inspiring a new field of study at one university. With all its upsides comes a downside, however, something that results from the current void of regulations as the modern world decides how to deal with the currency: schemers who taking advantage of the system to make their Bitcoin mining worthwhile.