Will Bitcoin hit the big time in 2014

Published: 30 April 2014 at 10:53

Expert Brett Scott will discuss digital ‘cryptocurrencies’ at Anglia Ruskin event

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Is Bitcoin a currency or a commodity?  Is it a safe alternative to traditional money?  What is required for it to be adopted more widely?  Will 2014 be the breakthrough year for Bitcoin?

These questions and more will be discussed on Wednesday, 7 May (6pm) when Anglia Ruskin University hosts a free event featuring writer Brett Scott, author of The Heretics Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money.

Bitcoin is a digital ‘cryptocurrency’ that is now being used online as an alternative to traditional currencies such as the Dollar, Pound and Euro, and has caused a stir in the financial world by threatening to challenge the power of governments and central banks.

It gained widespread attention in 2013 when the value of a single Bitcoin leapt from $13 to $1,000.  Although it has since declined, one Bitcoin is still worth around $420 today.

However, its future is far from assured and some of its nefarious uses, including illegal transactions and funding covert groups, will be amongst the topics discussed. 

Dr Joss Hands, Reader in Media and Critical Theory at Anglia Ruskin University, is one of the organisers of the event.  He explained:

“Bitcoin is potentially one of the most far-reaching inventions of the digital age.  
“While there has been a lot of hyperbole about the power of Bitcoin as a force for freedom and change, the jury is still out on whether taking currencies out of government control really puts power in the hands of the people, or rather takes it away by giving it to other even less accountable forces.
“Also, with the failure and liquidation in February of the Mt Gox Bitcoin exchange, which handled 70% of all Bitcoin traffic, questions remain as to just how viable and stable cryptocurrencies really are.”

The free event at Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus on 7 May is called “Bitcoin: A Disruptive Innovation” and will also feature a discussion with a panel of experts from the Cambridge Bitcoin Group.  

The event begins at 6pm in room Ruskin 203, and further information is available by emailing joss.hands@anglia.ac.uk