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Bitcoin has hit record high prices during the first part of 2021. Recently, the price of one Bitcoin has been as high as $60,000. One year ago, Bitcoin was only worth $6500 for one coin. The increase in price is similar to previous times when Bitcoin went up quickly before crashing back down. This time, Bitcoin has gone much higher than it ever did before. The previous record for Bitcoin was set in 2018 when it almost reached $20,000. Days after the record, the price fell by 30% in one day. Two months later, it was worth around $6000. The huge changes in Bitcoin’s price have made many people unsure about the cryptocurrency. During the first few months of 2021, Bitcoin has been setting new records almost every week.

Some people who like Bitcoin think it will be the future of money. They think it can be a currency that is used in many different countries around the world. Bitcoin is completely separate from any government or organisation. Because it is separate, it can be more anonymous than regular currencies. Fans of Bitcoin like that it is free from the rules of different countries. It does not have to follow the same rules that Dollars, Euros or other currencies do. It can be easy to transfer money to different countries and send money around the world. However, because it is so private, it can also be used for crime. This has caused a lot of negative attention for Bitcoin. Now with the price rising so much, even some big companies are jumping on board. Tesla recently announced that they bought a lot of Bitcoin and have begun accepting Bitcoin payments on their website.

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and it has inspired hundreds of others. The idea for Bitcoin originally was to have a completely independent currency. Other cryptocurrencies often try to do the same thing but in slightly different ways. As the price of Bitcoin increases, other cryptocurrencies become more popular too. This is usually because people want to find the “next” Bitcoin. Not all cryptocurrencies can be trusted though. Some are created just to get people to invest. There are many uncertainties with cryptocurrencies, partly because the technology is so new. It is easy for people to get tricked or confused and this means they can lose money easily. However, the people that know what they are doing can make lots of money. Maybe in the future, we will be using cryptocurrencies as our everyday money.

Difficult Words

Previous (adj): To happen before something else.

Cryptocurrency (n): An online, digital currency.

Currency (n): A country’s money.

Anonymous (adj): Unknown identity, not know who someone is.

Jump on board (idiom): To join what others are doing.

Independent (adj): Being alone, not needing other’s help.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

American English Audio:

Match the Synonym!

 1. Previous A. A country’s money.
 2. Cryptocurrency B. Unknown identity.
 3. CurrencyC. Before
 4. Anonymous D. Alone
 5. IndependentE. Digital money.

True or False?

1. Bitcoin has hit its lowest ever price in 2021. T / F

2. Nobody thinks Bitcoin will be used in the future. T / F

3. Bitcoin is separate from any country or organisation. T / F

4. Bitcoin has to follow the same rules as every other currency. T / F

5. There are many different cryptocurrencies these days. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. hit / high / has / record / Bitcoin / prices

2. for / set / Bitcoin / in / record / 2018 / The / previous / was

3. same / follow / have / the / It / rules / to / doesn’t

4. to / different / easy / countries / can / transfer / It / money / to / be

5. with / There / many / uncertainties / are / cryptocurrencies

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

American English Audio:

ConfusedSeparateWorth
UnsureNegativeInspired

Bitcoin has hit record high prices during the first part of 2021. Recently, the price of one Bitcoin has been as high as $60,000. One year ago, Bitcoin was only (1)_________ $6500 for one coin. The increase in price is similar to previous times when Bitcoin went up quickly before crashing back down. This time, Bitcoin has gone much higher than it ever did before. The previous record for Bitcoin was set in 2018 when it almost reached $20,000. Days after the record, the price fell by 30% in one day. Two months later, it was worth around $6000. The huge changes in Bitcoin’s price have made many people (2)__________ about the cryptocurrency. During the first few months of 2021, Bitcoin has been setting new records almost every week.

Some people who like Bitcoin think it will be the future of money. They think it can be a currency that is used in many different countries around the world. Bitcoin is completely (3)___________ from any government or organisation. Because it is separate, it can be more anonymous than regular currencies. Fans of Bitcoin like that it is free from the rules of different countries. It does not have to follow the same rules that Dollars, Euros or other currencies do. It can be easy to transfer money to different countries and send money around the world. However, because it is so private, it can also be used for crime. This has caused a lot of (4)___________ attention for Bitcoin. Now with the price rising so much, even some big companies are jumping on board. Tesla recently announced that they bought a lot of Bitcoin and have begun accepting Bitcoin payments on their website.

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and it has (5)________ hundreds of others. The idea for Bitcoin originally was to have a completely independent currency. Other cryptocurrencies often try to do the same thing but in slightly different ways. As the price of Bitcoin increases, other cryptocurrencies become more popular too. This is usually because people want to find the “next” Bitcoin. Not all cryptocurrencies can be trusted though. Some are created just to get people to invest. There are many uncertainties with cryptocurrencies, partly because the technology is so new. It is easy for people to get tricked or (6)__________ and this means they can lose money easily. However, the people that know what they are doing can make lots of money. Maybe in the future, we will be using cryptocurrencies as our everyday money.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. What do you think about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin?
5. Do you think Bitcoin will continue to increase in value?
6. Do you think cryptocurrencies are risky?
7. Do you think cryptocurrencies will become regularly used in the future?
8. Should the world have one currency?
9. How important is privacy when it comes to money?
10. Is the privacy that Bitcoin provides good if it helps criminals?
11. What do you think about Tesla accepting Bitcoin as a payment on their website?
12. Do you think more companies will start accepting Bitcoin in the future?
13. Are cryptocurrencies too difficult for regular people to understand?
14. Do you think people would be nervous to use cryptocurrencies as regular money?
15. Do you think Bitcoin will become more stable in the future?
16. Are cryptocurrencies often used in your country?
17. Is investing in cryptocurrencies the same as gambling?
18. In your country, what do people usually invest their money in?
19. Have you ever bought a cryptocurrency?
20. What is the best use for cryptocurrencies?