If Bitcoin received a year-end grade for value, it would be a giant F.
While Bitcoin buzz and adoption experienced a healthy growth spurt in 2014, its value in U.S. dollars did the opposite. The virtual currency was the worst-performing currency of the year, plummeting by more than 56 percent since January and 72 percent since last November, according to Bloomberg. Bitcoin fared worse in the last 12 months than even Russia’s ruble, which plunged 42 percent this year.
Kicking off with the collapse of Mt. Gox and ending with a two-year prison sentence for former Bitcoin Foundation executive Charlie Shrem, without a doubt, this year was consistently turbulent for the controversial digital cash. Today is no better, with the cryptocash currently trading at a dismal $313, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index.
But it wasn’t always this bleak for Bitcoin. In December 2013, its value surged to $1,130, a record high for the 4-year-old cryptocurrency. Also, several major tech companies -- including Dell, PayPal, DISH Network and even Microsoft -- began accepting the virtual currency as a form of payment this year.
A host of celebrities also jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon in 2014 as well, nudging it further into the mainstream. And, just last week, Bitcoin scored a promotional touchdown at the Bitcoin Bowl, the first-ever college football game sponsored by a Bitcoin company.
Still, despite all the hype and the billions of dollars venture capitalists rained all over it, Bitcoin’s value crashed and burned, though not completely out. The nascent currency continues to limp along, not yet flatlining from a particularly rough year.