Cryptocurrency, an encrypted, peer-to-peer network for facilitating digital barter, is a technology developed eight years ago. Bitcoin, the first and most popular cryptocurrency, is paving the way as a disruptive technology to long standing and unchanged financial payment systems that have been in place for many decades. While cryptocurrencies are not likely to replace traditional fiat currency, they could change the way Internet-connected global markets interact with each other, clearing away barriers surrounding normative national currencies and exchange rates. Technology advances at a rapid rate, and the success of a given technology is almost solely dictated by the market upon which it seeks to improve. Cryptocurrencies may revolutionize digital trade markets by creating a free flowing trading system without fees. A SWOT analysis of Bitcoin is presented, which illuminates some of the recent events and movements that could influence whether Bitcoin contributes to a shift in economic paradigms.
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