- (Photo: Reuters / Stephen Lam)
Bitcoin has officially become an Internet phenomenon, but whether or not it is sustainable in the market is still impossible to assess.
An unnamed person, known only by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, launched the bitcoin in 2009. At its beginnings, it was valued at $20. In February of this year, the bitcoin hit its all time high in the market, reaching $250. The coin's value however, is drastically inconsistent. A few days ago the bitcoin was trading at around $266; on Thursday it traded for as little as $66. Its inconsistency makes it more of a "frenzy" than a developing currency, some experts argue.
"To say highly speculative would be the understatement of the century," Steve Hanke, a professor specializing in alternative currencies at Johns Hopkins University, told The New York Times of the digital currency.
But not all would agree with him- particularly the Winklevoss twins, who own nearly 1 percent of bitcoins in circulation. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, better known for their connection to Mark Zuckerberg and their court battles regarding Facebook, have a different opinion of the bitcoin.
"People say it's a Ponzi scheme, it's a bubble. People really don't want to take it seriously. At some point that narrative will shift to 'virtual currencies are here to stay.' We're in the early days," Cameron Winklevoss told The Times.
Olympic rowers who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and placed sixth, the twins have repeatedly sued Zuckerberg for ownership of Facebook. The twins, at the time that Facebook was being created, were working on their own Internet invention called ConnectU. They now consider themselves Internet entrepreneurs.
Their final court battle with Facebook resulted in a $65 million settlement and a small share of the company. Facebook now has been valued in the billions. One of the twins' new efforts includes a new social network start-up titled SumZero.