Bitcoin: The Digital Gold Rush

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last two months, you’ve probably heard a lot about Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that relies on an internet based peer-to-peer network without the need for a central bank or organization to support it. Even though Bitcoin was invented back in 2009, the virtual currency is the talk of the internet right now.

Bitcoin value soared from under $30 US dollars in March to over $250 per Bitcoin last week, before plunging back to half that level again. The controversial currency has split the opinions of investors, governments and punters eager to make a quick buck.

Is it a sustainable currency? Is it a philosophy? Is it a bubble? Is it a scam? Is it a gateway for illegal trade? We can’t give you the answers to these questions but decided to analyze some of the most important Bitcoin-related websites with SimilarWeb to see the impact of the media hype on the Bitcoin community.  These websites show an unprecedented increase in web traffic in March, as Bitcoin stopped being a niche alternative and millions of people started to get curious about investing on Bitcoins.

1. Bitcoin.org: The traffic to the Official Bitcoin Website tripled between February and March 2013.

Bitcoin.org - Web Traffic Intelligence

2. Mtgox.com is the World’s most established Bitcoin exchange. The interest to invest in Bitcoin grew so much that they couldn’t handle the growing amount of transactions, causing their trade engine to freeze. Mt. Gox wrote on its facebook page “The rather astonishing amount of new account opened in the last few days added to the existing one plus the number of trade made a huge impact on the overall system that started to lag.  As expected in such situation people started to panic, started to sell Bitcoin in mass (Panic Sale) resulting in an increase of trade that ultimately froze the trade engine.”

mtgox

3. Bitpay.com is the leader in Bitcoin business solutions and another key player in the industry that benefited from the online buzz around the virtual currency.

bitpay

Whether it’s a bubble or not, looks like we’ll keep hearing about Bitcoin. After all, the virtual currency has already changed the life for the so-called Bitcoin Millionaires, it continues to scare banks and governments and makes the world re-think the value of money with the use of disruptive technology.

Do you think Bitcoin is here to stay? Leave a comment and let us know.

 

About the Author -

Head of Brand & Strategy for SimilarWeb. Obsessed with web measurement, the internet, pop music and great TV. Wannabe cool-hunter.

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