Currency, in any form is based on trust! It therefore amazes us that bitcoin and other virtual currencies have gained traction without a government or vaults of gold to back it up, it is a purely ephemeral! The simplest explanation for this is greed, the desire to make money and for a few, the desire to take the control away from the few and hand it back to the many.
Regardless, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are here to stay. The consequence for anyone at the moment are fairly limited, very few of us actually use bitcoin. There isn't very much you can buy using it directly, so where is the value?
Added to this, to create the currency miners are using huge amounts of power, so it isn't necessarily a friend of the environment, not to mention the computing power dedicated to mining Bitcoin is huge - what fundamentally more useful projects could this computing power be put too?
The noble idea of taking control away from the few is also being eroded by the fact that the people making money from bitcoin are the ones with huge resources, an age old story of the rich getting richer!
The increased interest, in another less well known virtual currency Ethereum led to a huge number of graphics cards being purchased earlier this summer and this led to stock shortages for those of us putting our graphics cards towards far more noble causes i.e. gaming! This shortage has only just been resolved which means you are getting better value as the price is coming down after a huge spike created by the extra demand.
Our advice, unless you are a multi-millionaire, willing to take a few risks and are happy to set up where electrical power is cheap, spend your money on a new gaming rig, not a mining rig. You'll definitely have more fun!