In a world that is increasingly dependent on digital technologies, the digital currency bitcoin is now a powerful tool for those who wish to keep track of their finances.
But how does it fit into this larger picture?
And what are its risks?
The digital currency was first introduced in 2009, when it was created by a man called Satoshi Nakamoto, and its growth has been driven by two factors: a rise in adoption, and a growing reliance on cryptocurrencies as an investment vehicle.
Bitcoin has gained in popularity in the last couple of years, and in the first half of 2017, it gained more than 10% of the global market cap.
Its popularity has come at a cost, however.
Its price has risen in the past few months, and it’s now worth more than US$10,000 (RM5,600) on the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
The digital currency is also being traded by some of the biggest names in finance.
It is the latest in a series of digital currencies that have come under fire for the use of cryptocurrencies as a form of money.
Bitcoin was created in 2009 by an anonymous individual and its price has fluctuated wildly in the same year, reaching a high of US$1,000 in March 2013.
It has also come under intense scrutiny for its ability to facilitate transactions using an unregulated, open source protocol known as the blockchain, which is a public ledger that can be accessed by anyone.
Bitcoin is a distributed ledger, which means that the blockchain is open to the public.
It is this open ledger that is used to track bitcoin transactions and track its value.
The blockchain is the digital ledger that records the transaction and the source of the funds, and this information is publically available.
In the past, the cryptocurrency has been viewed as a store of value and a form for money.
It can be exchanged for goods and services, but there are concerns about how it could be used to finance illegal activity, or even to facilitate the illicit exchange of goods or services.
In 2017, Bitcoin’s price skyrocketed after the collapse of Mt Gox, a major bitcoin exchange, and the rise in interest in bitcoin as a financial tool was driven by a growing concern about its use as a payment mechanism.
In response, bitcoin has been a target for attacks by the US Federal Reserve, which has been trying to rein in the cryptocurrency’s use as an unregulated payment tool.
Bitcoin’s price has been trending downwards since early March, and as of April 5, it had lost over 3,700 percent of its value against the US dollar, according to CoinDesk.
This week, however, the value of bitcoin dropped again, to US$4,100 from US$7,300 on Tuesday.
This is the second time that bitcoin has dropped against the dollar this year.
In February, bitcoin was worth US$6,800, which dropped by 1,000 percent.
The value of the cryptocurrency is closely tracked by financial institutions because they are able to make an estimate of its current value.
This is because the value changes daily based on transactions made on the blockchain.
It’s important to note that bitcoin is not a traditional currency, and while it is not backed by a central bank, its value is linked to the price of the world’s most valuable asset, the dollar.
As a result, bitcoin is considered an investment and not a currency.
It may be tempting to view bitcoin as an asset that will be used for legitimate purposes, but it could also be used as a vehicle for criminal activity.
In February 2017, two men were arrested in the US for allegedly using bitcoin to launder drug proceeds, and one of the men was also accused of using the cryptocurrency to buy weapons from North Korea.
This was after the US imposed sanctions on North Korea for its ballistic missile programme.
This has fuelled speculation that bitcoin could be seen as an avenue for illegal activities.
According to the US Treasury, bitcoin could also facilitate money laundering, or laundering of illegal proceeds of terrorism.
Bitcoin itself is not regulated in the United States.
Its value is determined by the supply and demand of the currency, which may fluctuate based on supply and price of its currency.
According the Treasury, there are no government regulations on the bitcoin economy, which could potentially allow criminal activity to flourish.
In March, the US Attorney General James Comey also warned that bitcoin was being used to fund terrorism, and that it could become a money laundering tool.
The government is also considering whether to ban bitcoin altogether, which would likely be a step that the bitcoin community would oppose.
In a separate move, the Federal Reserve on Monday announced that it was considering whether or not to allow the bitcoin network to scale up.
The announcement comes just days after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a statement, stating that it does not support Bitcoin as a currency or digital asset.