For those interested in bitcoin, 2015 has been an interesting year. It may even prove to be a critical one in the development of the digital currency, but, as usual, it has been far from plain sailing.
The price of bitcoin, as measured by the exchange rate versus the U.S. dollar (BTC/USD) spent most of the year relatively stable. After sliding to below $200 early in January, BTC/USD stayed in a $200/$300 range until the latest surge began at the end of October. Now it may not seem that a range that represents 50 percent fluctuation is not particularly stable for a currency, but coming on the back of a couple of years when ranges were measured in the hundreds of percentage points it is, as I said, relatively stable. It should also be borne in mind that BTC is new, and in a year when some emerging market currencies saw volatility of around the same magnitude the range looks reasonable.
The currency has had its share of controversy in 2015 too. The sentencing of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht to life in prison in June brought renewed focus on the “dark side” of crypto currencies, and