Bitcoin is many things: an innovative cross-border payments platform, a hilariously bad short-term investment, a facilitator of illegal drug purchases and Winklevoss space trips. But here's some good news for fans of the cryptocurrency: it is almost certainly not an indicator of the apocalypse.
The Biblical scholars at Newsmax, a right-wing political site, have looked into the connections between Bitcoin and the Bible's predictions about the end of the world, and have determined that no connection exists between Bitcoin and the Antichrist. (Probably! It's hard to be sure about these things.)
In the post, titled "Bitcoin and Bible Prophecy: 5 Reasons the Cryptocurrency Shouldn't Be Considered the Mark of the Beast," the site writes:
Some Bible prophecy advocates think Bitcoin — a form of digital currency — could become the "Mark of the Beast" mentioned in the New Testament's Book of Revelation. The Mark of the Beast is thought to be among the characteristics of the "tribulation years," and some believe Bitcoin is in a position to fulfill the prophecy by becoming or morphing into the one-world currency the anti-Christ will use to gain economic control worldwide. However, not everyone agrees.
Among the reasons Bitcoin is probably not the harbinger of the Antichrist's coming, the site writes, is that it's probably not stable enough to be used to gain control of the global economy, as the book of Revelation predicts will happen during the seven-year tribulation that follows the rapture. It's also a decentralized, peer-to-peer currency, which means that even if the Antichrist did try to use Bitcoin to hasten the end of the world, it would be difficult for him to gain control of the entire blockchain.
"One of the key elements of The Mark Of The Beast is to be able to prevent those that refuse to take the Mark from buying and selling," wrote Christian Money in a 2012 article. "Bitcoins are decentralized and prevent any such control."
Which is good news for cryptocurrency fans. Buying Bitcoin might cost you your savings, but it won't cost you your soul.