Ever since Bitcoin was introduced in 2009 as the first ever cryptocurrency it has been making waves. The brainchild of a mysterious developer operating under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, it at last introduced a currency not tied to any government or federal reserve and payments which could be made without having to use an intermediary like a bank or credit card company.
Although the cryptocurrency has had some ups and downs over its relatively short life, in recent times it has been on a high with its value rocketing against the so-called “fiat” currencies. These are the traditional ones like US dollars, sterling and euros that a forex trader will more usually speculate on in the market.
There are a number of reasons for the rise and rise of Bitcoin. For example it seems like the obvious choice for the digital age where more and more business and life is carried out online and the blockchain that supports Bitcoin and confirms every transaction also makes it very secure.
So it's no surprise that a forward-thinking state like Dubai is wholeheartedly embracing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as it strives to move towards a future that aims to reduce the importance of oil to the nation's GDP.
For example, following the well documented property price crash in 2008-09, great efforts have been made to re-energise the market, particularly by introducing younger people as investors. But today, as prices have recovered, this is already proving to be very hard for many. So innovative solutions are required.
One of these has been provided by the real estate crowdfunding company Durise which is aiming to attract young, technologically-aware investors into the property market. With an initial investment of as little as $5,000 they can buy a share in a property and receive an equal proportion of any profits that are made. And because this new generation of investors really are up to speed with the very latest tech advancements investing using Bitcoin is also an option. As the company's CEO, Waleed Esbaitah, has said, “I believe that Bitcoin can become a standard means of payment both in real estate and other major investments. Everyone knows how Bitcoin works so it's not a crazy concept anymore, but a reality”.
Dubai is progressing even further down this route by pledging to become the world's first blockchain government by introducing their own cryptocurrency. Called EmCash it is envisaged that residents will be able to use it to pay for everything from a coffee in a restaurant to household utility bills and much more besides. This may be the first example of a state creating its own cryptocurrency but many others have also started to regard Bitcoin as legal tender with Germany being one of the first in 2013.
So, obviously, the time of the cryptocurrency is with us and this is of as much interest to currency investors as it is to individuals who want to use one for their everyday purchases. But whether the momentum will continue to build and Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are ever in a position to truly challenge the dollar, euro or yen, only time will tell.