Bitcoin: the year of records :

This is the story of a currency that has multiplied its value by 17 in one year. We can not (still) not buy much with, but the year 2017 has clearly been a grand cru for bitcoin, the queen of cryptocurrencies.

A bitcoin was worth just $ 1,000 on January 1, while it traded for $ 17,200 on December 12. A big leap forward of 1685% makes this cryptocurrency one of the undisputed stars of 2017. The total value of the 16.7 million bitcoins in circulation is currently 293 693 174 582 dollars. Between November and December, his course was even doubled.

A flight that is explained, in particular, by the anointing of personalities and recognized financiers. Celebrities like Paris Hilton or the wealthy boxer Floyd Mayweather have recognized last months want to invest in dematerialized currencies (bitcoin, ethereum, monero, dash, etc.). Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Morgan Stanley's James Gorman predict a bright future for bitcoin.

It has also gained legitimacy when it has been touted as a cure for the economic troubles of countries like Venezuela (on the brink of bankruptcy) or Zimbabwe (with chronic rampant inflation). It could serve as an alternative means of payment in countries where access to money is becoming increasingly difficult.

Nobel prizes against bitcoin

But it is the Asian fervor that has really propelled it to the heights. In April, Japan became the first country to recognize this particular currency as a means of payment. China, which is more and more rain and shine on this cryptocurrency, was at the forefront of one of the most significant phenomena of this year: the ICO (Initial Coin Offering). The mechanism is close to the IPOs: start-ups raise funds to finance their project with Internet users who, in exchange for their dollars, receive tokens indexed to cryptocurrencies instead of shares.

Some project developers have raised impressive amounts of money in record time, such as the Filecoin promoters, who raised $ 200 million in one hour. Faced with the craze deemed too strong in China, Beijing resolved in September, to ban on its territory the new ICO.

The omnipresence of bitcoin media and its insolent financial health have pushed critics to sound the alarm and warn of the risk of speculative bubble. Sizes such as Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman and French Jean Tirole warned against the risks of bitcoin. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has even called those who buy them "stupid". Their main criticism to all: bitcoin has no other value than that which speculators are willing to give them.

An ideological debate that shows how, eight years after its creation, bitcoin became mainstream.