The world’s favourite virtual currency has been on a rollercoaster ride this year. On 1 January, one Bitcoin was worth $13. By April, they were trading for $266, before a sudden, spectacular collapse.
However, there is one subject that few people touch on. And that is the volume of real-world (ie, not speculative) transactions that are *cough* legally problematic, and the impact that will have on Bitcoin’s future.
Buying drugs, weapons, or other contraband are all possible with Bitcoin. The most infamous marketplace is Silk Road, an enormous drug marketplace that’s had more column inches than most legit e-commerce startups. It’s also a prime mover in the Bitcoin economy.
What would it mean for Bitcoin if Silk Road goes out of business?
(Not familiar with Bitcoin? See this handy beginners guide at Gizmodo).
The virtual currency has had a history rich in peaks and troughs. Fortunately, Forbes have constructed a handy guide to the many and varied downturns: An Illustrated History of Bitcoin Crashes to guide you through them.
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