Bitcoin – additional information
Bitcoin, a type of mobile/virtual/crypto currency, is capitalizing on the market at a rapid pace. In five years, Bitcoin has increased its market capitalization from 0.06 billion U.S. dollars in the second quarter of 2012 to 237.62 billion U.S. dollars in the second quarter of 2017.
While its market capitalization is growing at an unbelievable rate, the public is only slowly becoming aware of its existence. As many as 76 percent of Americans were still not familiar with bitcoin and as of 2014 and while there are over 17 million bitcoins in circulation, there are only 4,112 Bitcoin ATMs around the world. So its physical presence is minimal and the majority of ATMs are located in the United States.
What makes a bitcoin different than traditional currency is that it is decentralized and no single institution or bank controls the bitcoin network. It is also unique because an account is easy to set up and it is completely transparent. The bitcoin price index (the average bitcoin price across leading global exchanges) has also increased significantly since its creation, rising from 367 U.S. dollars in January 2016 to a peak of over 13,000 U.S. dollars at the end of December 2017.