Number go down

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

People will say all kinds of things about what Bitcoin is: digital gold, the successor to the dollar as a reserve currency, the future of money, whatever. The thing about Bitcoin, though, is that it’s volatile — and thus, risky. And right now, the market is feeling risk-averse. Bitcoin’s price in dollars has fallen by more than a third since January 1st.

A drop this dramatic doesn’t have just one cause, though it probably didn’t help that we’ve been exiting zero interest rate policy (ZIRP). For a while, the US central bank had set interest rates quite close to zero in order to stimulate the economy. In that environment, it doesn’t make sense to keep money in your savings account — your savings won’t earn enough interest to keep up with…

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