In January, Bitcoin saw a flurry of positive news on a scale that had not happened since May 2011. Bitcoin’s gambling websites, including SatoshiDice, BitZino and Seals With Clubs, all reported record volumes. All three major merchant service providers either expanded their offerings in some way or lowered their fees. Bitcoin’s statistics, including number of transactions, market capitalization and trade volume, were higher than they ever were in history, and those that still remained were higher than at any point after the bubble of 2011. Many people, including myself, predicted that the onslaught of increasing media attention would not last. However, in February we were proven wrong. Reddit and Kim Dotcom’s Mega, two of the most widely known names in the internet community, started accepting bitcoins for payment, and popular domain name registrar and webhost Namecheap followed suit in March. The Bitcoin price surged past higher than it ever did before, and positive media attention kept on coming. Even the few security crises that Bitcoin had during this time were either ignored or even treated as positive news, with journalists praising the Bitcoin community’s speed and efficiency at handling the issues as they came up. Here is an overview of all that happened in these past two months.
Today, Bitcoin is in that same zone of uncertainty that it was in in the late stages of the run-up to the crash in June 2011. Public interest is continuing, although the focus of media attention has, perhaps unfortunately, slowly shifted from focusing on Bitcoin’s properties to its rapidly increasing value. The price appears to be entering a full-on mania phase, so we should all be prepared for a crash; for those who have earned a small fortune from Bitcoin’s increasing balue already, taking at least once or twice one’s initial investment out is likely the right thing to do, if only to preserve one’s sanity. But in the long term, the future for Bitcoin is looking brighter than ever. We have seen venture capital investors increasingly looking into Bitcoin, unprecedented Bitcoin adoption with reports of more adoption soon to come, and public attention is increasing on all fronts. Although few believed that this would happen in the bleak months of October and November 2011, over the past two years the Bitcoin economy has grown by a factor of over a hundred. Just imagine what Bitcoin in the spring of 2015 will be like.