It took a crisis to spark off the next revolution in technology. In 2009, a year after Lehman Brothers’ disastrous crash and its subsequent domino effect on the rest of the financial sector, the Bitcoin was launched.
The concept of cryptocurrency, cashless and operating in a peer-to-peer network, had been around for some ten years but until the dawn of the New Great Depression no one had felt the need to explore it in depth. Its stability—the conversion rate has been hovering around $382 per Bitcoin for years now—is seen as a big plus in a world rife with speculation and wildly fluctuating share prices. During the first couple of years over one billion dollars were spent on Bitcoin and the technology supporting it.
Its anonymity fits the needs of criminals buying and selling illegal goods on Darknet sites such as Silk Road, but many progressive organizations now accept the alternative currency as payment. Bitcoin has also penetrated the art world and is rapidly becoming a platform for artistic creativity in its own right.