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May 19, 2017 06:06 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Bitcoin close to conquering $2000, shakes off negative publicity from WannaCry

The digital currency has appreciated over 90 percent since the start of this year and is close to breaking the USD 2,000 mark. The market cap of bitcoin is now over USD 31 billion.

Bitcoin close to conquering $2000, shakes off negative publicity from WannaCry

Sidhartha Shukla

Moneycontrol News

In a series of new all-time highs, the price of bitcoin hit a new peak of USD 1,944 on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) on Friday.

The digital currency has appreciated more than 90 percent since the start of 2017 and is close to breaking the USD 2,000 mark. The market cap of bitcoin is now over USD 31 billion.

bitcoinq

Villain no more

Gone are the days when negative news used to hammer the price of bitcoin. Despite facing flak for being the preferred mode of payment for the WannaCry ransomware attack, the price is rising and governments are understanding that the virtual currency is not something to be feared but rather understood.

Hackers behind the cyber attack have been paid almost USD 91,000 in bitcoins, as per Elliptic, which is keeping a track of the three bitcoin addresses associated with the ransomware attack.

Decoding: WannaCry Ransomware – Should You Worry?

Being decentralised and transparent in nature, the blockchain is letting the world keep a track of the flow of the ransom, which is probably making it hard for the hackers to hide their tracks while laundering the money and spending it.

Is all well for bitcoin?

Despite the growing global acceptance, the market cap of bitcoin as a percentage of all virtual currencies has dropped below 50 percent for the first time since cryptocurrencies came into existence .

Till March of this year, bitcoin dominated the cryptocurrency market having over 80 percent share, but since its development has stalled due the debate on how to scale it, other altcoins like ripple, ethereum and litecoin have gained ground.

marketcap

Various factions have been debating on the network expansion to accommodate more transactions, but no consensus has been reached yet.

Also, this it might inhibit the adoption of bitcoin as a payment token. Being a limited commodity - as only 21 million bitcoins will be mined - it is becoming more like virtual gold, a safe haven rather than a mode of payment.

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