Is Bitcoin safe as houses or floating in a bubble?

[Adrian Weckler for Independent.ie]

One of the biggest challenges that 'virtual' currencies such as Bitcoin have is credibility. Sceptics point out that there is no sovereign backing the standard, no central bank, no vault of gold. This, they argue, presents a long-term trust issue for those thinking of jumping into Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin advocates acknowledge the point but say that there are already enough people who accept cryptocurrencies to make it viable. "If you can get 500 people who will transact with you and who are committed to it, you have something," says Godfrey. "With the euro, the only reason we accept it is that we all believe in it. The central bank prints paper money and we accept that others will accept it. What Bitcoin and blockchain herald is the beginning of huge societal change. Bitcoin is the safest way to transact value that's ever existed. We really are just at the beginning."

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