سعر البيتكوين غير مستقر ومن المُحتمل جدا أنك سمعت بأخبار تجاوز بيتكوين لحاجز 11000 دولار صعودا أو نزولا. هناك من يعتقد بأن هذا السعر مُبالغ فيه، لكن هناك كثيرون يعتقدون بأنه سعر لا يُعطي للبيتكوين حقه. من بين الأسباب التي تدفع إلى اعتقاد ذلك هو كون البيتكوين سلعة تحتاج إلى قدر كبير من الكهرباء لإنتاجها ويُفترض أن يكون سعرها على الأقل مُقاربا لسعر الكهرباء التي تم استهلاكها لإنتاجها أو أعلى بقليل بحكم قيام المُنقبين بدور حيوي لشبكة بيتكوين، وبالتالي يجب أن يكون هناك ما يدفعهم للقيام ذلك. بإمكاننا معرفة ما يربحه المنقبون من العمليات التي يقومون بها بشكل دقيق، حيث هناك مواقع تنشر هذه الإحصائيات جاهزة، لكن يُمكن التحقق من ذلك عبر تحليل سجل حسابات بيتكوين أيضا. لدى كتابة هذه السطور استطاع المُنقبون تحقيق $3,925,863 خلال الساعات الـ24 الماضية، قد يبدو هذا المبلغ ضخما، لكن القيام بعمليات التنقيب تلك احتاجت إلى 11,388,578 جيجا هاش /الثانية وهو أيضا رقم كبير جدا ويحتاج إلى قدر ضخم من الكهرباء للقيام بذلك. ليس من السهل معرفة تكلفة القيام بذلك لكن يُمكن القيام ببعض الحسابات التي ستعطينها فهما تقريبيا للوضع.
To lower the costs, bitcoin miners have set up in places like Iceland where geothermal energy is cheap and cooling Arctic air is free. Bitcoin miners are known to use hydroelectric power in Tibet, Quebec, Washington (state), and Austria to reduce electricity costs. Miners are attracted to suppliers such as Hydro Quebec that have energy surpluses. According to a University of Cambridge study, much of bitcoin mining is done in China, where electricity is subsidized by the government.
In Ethereum all smart contracts are stored publicly on every node of the blockchain, which has costs. Being a blockchain means it is secure by design and is an example of a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance. The downside is that performance issues arise in that every node is calculating all the smart contracts in real time, resulting in lower speeds. As of January 2016, the Ethereum protocol could process about 25 transactions per second. In comparison, the Visa payment platform processes 45,000 payments per second leading some to question the scalability of Ethereum. On 19 December 2016, Ethereum exceeded one million transactions in a single day for the first time.
In the end, the majority of the Ethereum community voted to perform a hard fork, and retrieve The DAO investors money. But not everyone agreed with this course of action. This resulted in a split where two parallel blockchains now exist. For those members who strongly disagree with any changes to the blockchain even when hacking occurs there is Ethereum classic. For the majority who agreed to rewrite a small part of the blockchain and return the stolen money to their owners, there is Ethereum.
In March 2013 the blockchain temporarily split into two independent chains with different rules due to a bug in version 0.8 of the bitcoin software. The two blockchains operated simultaneously for six hours, each with its own version of the transaction history from the moment of the split. Normal operation was restored when the majority of the network downgraded to version 0.7 of the bitcoin software, selecting the backward compatible version of the blockchain. As a result, this blockchain became the longest chain and could be accepted by all participants, regardless of their bitcoin software version. During the split, the Mt. Gox exchange briefly halted bitcoin deposits and the price dropped by 23% to $37 before recovering to previous level of approximately $48 in the following hours. The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) established regulatory guidelines for "decentralized virtual currencies" such as bitcoin, classifying American bitcoin miners who sell their generated bitcoins as Money Service Businesses (MSBs), that are subject to registration or other legal obligations. In April, exchanges BitInstant and Mt. Gox experienced processing delays due to insufficient capacity resulting in the bitcoin price dropping from $266 to $76 before returning to $160 within six hours. The bitcoin price rose to $259 on 10 April, but then crashed by 83% to $45 over the next three days. On 15 May 2013, US authorities seized accounts associated with Mt. Gox after discovering it had not registered as a money transmitter with FinCEN in the US. On 23 June 2013, the US Drug Enforcement Administration listed ₿11.02 as a seized asset in a United States Department of Justice seizure notice pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881.[better source needed] This marked the first time a government agency had seized bitcoin. The FBI seized about ₿30,000 in October 2013 from the dark web website Silk Road during the arrest of Ross William Ulbricht. These bitcoins were sold at blind auction by the United States Marshals Service to venture capital investor Tim Draper. Bitcoin's price rose to $755 on 19 November and crashed by 50% to $378 the same day. On 30 November 2013 the price reached $1,163 before starting a long-term crash, declining by 87% to $152 in January 2015. On 5 December 2013, the People's Bank of China prohibited Chinese financial institutions from using bitcoins. After the announcement, the value of bitcoins dropped, and Baidu no longer accepted bitcoins for certain services. Buying real-world goods with any virtual currency had been illegal in China since at least 2009.
J. P. Morgan Chase is developing JPM Coin on a permissioned-variant of Ethereum blockchain dubbed "Quorum". It's designed to toe the line between private and public in the realm of shuffling derivatives and payments. The idea is to satisfy regulators who need seamless access to financial goings-on, while protecting the privacy of parties that don't wish to reveal their identities nor the details of their transactions to the general public.