Historically, global economies have had multiple forms of currency. Beyond traditional money or cold hard cash, we’ve had the barter system, commodity-backed currencies, and now we have virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin.

One of the most frequently asked questions about Bitcoin is, “What exactly is it?” Bitcoins are essentially bundles of data that can be bought on specific exchanges like Bitstamp, making the currency 100 per cent virtual. People looking to play it “safe” and avoid direct ownership of the currency will soon be able to invest in Exchange-traded Funds. This doesn’t entail “physically” owning the Bitcoin, thus avoiding some of the risk.

Seems like an excellent, fool-proof idea? Well, not so fast. Virtual currencies, especially Bitcoin, have come under much scrutiny for their tendency to attract two types of people. One being speculative investors who want to see where this entire experiment is going and the other being criminals. Bitcoins appeal to these types due to its anonymity, lack of central backing, and the fact that Bitcoin transactions are barely traceable.

This notoriety has established Bitcoin as the poster-child of virtual currencies with the media.

At the same time, Bitcoin has created a significant opportunity for Aspectus PR to position our clients as thought leaders in this ground-breaking area. We have several financial clients that can provide insight and commentary on tricky aspects such as Bitcoin’s legitimacy. This has led to much activity in terms of media opportunities, which we have also maximized by diligently keeping abreast of the news and staying on top of stories developing as a result of the debate.

As Bitcoin becomes increasingly popular, it will be interesting to see how this latest iteration of virtual money will be used, and whether or not the general public accepts it as a legitimate currency.

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