‘Challenging the dollar’: Bitcoin total value tops $1 billion

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Already bigger than many sovereign currencies, Bitcoin has broken the $1 billion in value mark this week. In the wake of continuing economic crises and liquidity shortages, this new virtual currency is poised to challenge the euro and US dollar.

By not being tied to any particular financial institution and independent from world governments, Bitcoin will become a safe haven for anyone trying to save their money from the crippled international banking system, claimed Max Keiser, the host of RT’s Keiser Report.

“It is inevitable that Bitcoin will become a multi-trillion dollar enterprise because every other currency in the world is tied to dying central banks that are encumbered with impossible-to-pay debts and bankrupt counter-party risks,” Keiser said.

Bitcoin emerged in 2009 amid the global financial meltdown. The digital currency was created by someone who identified himself as Satoshi Nakamoto. It is based on open-source software, and uses peer-to-peer connections for monetary transactions to avoid centralized authorities.

Bitcoin aims to provide safe and secure exchange by verifying transactions with encryption that is used in military and government applications. And unlike bank services, the Bitcoin network is free, except for a voluntary to speed up transaction processing.

Issuance of the currency is completely automated, with 25 new bitcoins generated every 10 minutes; inflation is set to be halved every four years, until a total of 21 million bitcoins is reached. In theory, the currency would not lose its purchasing power unless individuals and businesses refused to use bitcoins.

With numerous financial companies already exchanging bitcoins into any of the world’s currencies, the founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, Rick Falkvinge, estimated that Bitcoin could capture between 1 and 10 percent of the global foreign exchange market. This implies that the price of each and every bitcoin would rise to between $100,000 and $1 million, Max Keiser explained.

“I have stated that myself,” Keiser said. “I think bitcoin’s price will reach $200,000 per bitcoin before Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway’s stock.”

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