LONDON — There’s a new gold rush. But this precious metal doesn’t actually exist.
The frenzy is for so-called cryptocurrencies — or encrypted digital money — and their value skyrocketed in 2017. The price of Bitcoin, the pioneer decentralized virtual currency, rose more than 1,300 percent last year, despite plunging 40 percent at one point in December. A Bitcoin rival, Ether, was up 8,000 percent. It is thought that the total worldwide value of cryptocurrencies could reach $1 trillion this year.
Bitcoin and its derivatives have, for the moment, proved too volatile and unwieldy for day-to-day transactions. Yet the cryptocurrency model, underpinned by decentralized blockchain ledger technology, is increasingly becoming a force in more specialized areas of the economy. The art world is one of them.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.nytimes.com