One thing is for sure, while the value of Bitcoin itself remains extremely volatile, everyone from big banks to Silicon Valley VC firms, are paying close attention to this arena. The amount of venture capital flowing into cryptocurrency startups continues to grow - 2014 seeing a threefold increase on 2013.
The majority of the institutional money and capital, however, is being invested not into the paying instrument itself, Bitcoin the currency, but rather underlying technology, the Blockchain.
The Blockchain is essentially a giant ledger of all Bitcoin transactions, a protocol on top of which you can build applications; currency being just one such application.
The often cited benefit of the Blockchain is its ability to take away the need for trusted third parties, such as banks and other large, traditional financial institutions, replacing them with a system that relies on cryptography and decentralised verification. Its proponents believe it has the potential to be more transparent, more reliable and, crucially, cheaper than the existing systems.
Looking to the future, the Blockchain is potentially the most disruptive technology emerging in the FinTech scene right now with wide applications well beyond just currency. Smart contracts, land registries and peer-to-peer stock exchanges are just a few potential applications already being developed.
Many believe the technology will have profound implications for established financial services players and, ultimately, beyond.
Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co recently hosted a Tech networking event at its London offices where industry leaders, a selection of London's leading players in FinTech and a special guest panel of experts, gathered to hear and share their views on the world of bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain.
In this podcast Sam Brown, a Principal Associate in the Tech team, talks to guest panaleists Lui Smyth, UK lead at Australia's largest Bitcoin wallet and exchange.