Bitcoin hasn’t gone away - quite the contrary
Bitcoin is a decentralised virtual currency based on an open-source, peer-to-peer Internet protocol introduced in 2009. It gained initial popularity thanks to claims that transactions on the Bitcoin network cannot be traced - something that made it the tender of choice for illegal online marketplaces. In recent years, a number of major online retailers have started accepting BTC as a form of payment and today it enjoys close attention of governments, financial institutions and start-ups that want to repurpose the ’blockchain’ - the core cryptographic innovation in Bitcoin.
New coins can only be produced through an intensive computational process dubbed “mining” which has gradually moved out of bedrooms and basements and into purpose-built data centers around the world. The sucess of these data centers hinges on the highly volatile price of Bitcoin, which is set by the market.
According to this inforgraphic from Bargain Fox, a British discount and coupon website, we can expect 2016 to be Bitcoin’s biggest year yet: