The currency’s success is in part due to its popularity in Asia
The Bitcoin digital currency has exceeded the value of gold for the first time in history, hitting a high of $1,278.21 while the price of an ounce of gold was worth $1,236.10 at the time of writing.
The value of Bitcoinhas been steadily increasing over the last three months, rising 30%, while the value of gold has decreased, suggesting people are starting to accept the digital currency as a serious way to pay for goods.
Bitcoin’s value has risen as a result of increased demand in China, despite a crackdown by the government, which claimed the currency is being used to take money out of the country. It also become more popular in India and Venezuela following the move to get rid of old notes according to Forbes.
Added to that, Bitcoin is becoming a more popular way to trade money and some retailers, including Dell, have started accepting it as payment for goods and services.
However, just because the value of Bitcoin has increased so substantially, that doesn’t make it a better bet than gold. The digital currency has a reputation for being unstable, with the value plummeting in 2014 following the collapse of Mt.Gox. It also experienced a 20% drop in value in January this year.
There’s also been a lot of controversy about whether it’s a safe option for making payments. For example, because it’s a completely anonymous way to pay for goods, it could be (and, allegedly, has been) used to carry out criminal activities and because there’s no governmental regulation, there’s no way of ensuring it’s being used legitimately.
Four years ago, the Silk Road website was closed down for allowing people to use people to buy drugs with the digital currency. Millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin was seized by police.