There was no telling the future of bitcoin when it was introduced as a novelty concept back in 2008. Interest piqued – particularly amongst the more tech-savvy communities, but few could have predicted the lasting impact it would have upon the world’s economy and the nature of international finance transactions. Back in 2009, a Norwegian by the name of Kristoffer Koch was intrigued by the potential of this new digitalized currency and bought $27 worth of bitcoins – that translated to 5,000 bitcoins, to be precise. Interest in bitcoin faded somewhat after its initial introduction, and Koch soon forget about the virtual coins he had locked away in an encrypted online wallet.
In 2013, the media’s widespread coverage of bitcoin reminded Koch of the purchase he had made a few years ago. With the hype rising around this peer-to-peer, anonymous and intermediary-free currency, he checked his encrypted wallet to discover that his 5,000 bitcoins in his possession was now valued at $886,000. Not a bad investment. But there’s no denying bitcoin has endured some dramatically unpredictable fluctuations in value ever since, with few clear indications as to how the currency will stand up against contenders going forward. Some believe that its relevance will only grow in the coming decades, whilst others claim its glory days are over. What can the story of bitcoins so far tell us about its future?