It’s hard to ignore the sweeping popularity that cryptocurrency has enjoyed over the past few years. Last year illustrates the powerful force behind digital currency. Bitcoin, the biggest name in the market, grew from under $1,000 at the start of the year to a peak of nearly $20,000 by the end of December. As a result, more people are investing in digital currencies and exploring their potential in the business world.

Now it’s time to find out how the cryptocurrency craze affects your business and what you should do about it.

Hardware Prices

If your business relies on hardware to accelerate video output and improve capacity for Adobe Creative Suite and similar programs or other graphic-intensive applications, you’ve likely already felt a sting from the rise in cryptocurrency interest.

Graphics processing units (GPUs), the specialized processors that run these types of operations, are also used for cryptocurrency mining. Because millions of people have flocked to crypto mining as a way to generate income, the price of GPUs on secondary markets has skyrocketed.

If you already have all the equipment you need or if you don’t need GPUs to maintain operations, this probably won’t affect you. When it comes time to replace your equipment, you might pay four times what you’re used to or even more.

The Cryptocurrency Mining Threat

Crypto mining has another effect on businesses. Unfortunately, it poses a cybersecurity threat. In a process known as cryptojacking, cybercriminals use malware to covertly gain control of your computers, smartphones, and servers. From there, they can use your device’s processing power as part of their overall mining operation.

Because it operates in the background, you may not notice it’s there. Yet, the effects are destructive. Your processing power is occupied so your computer slows down. Plus,, you’ll pay extra electricity costs to keep the rig running all while someone else profits from that exploitation.

It’s estimated that as many as 55 percent of global organizations have suffered from cryptojacking, and the threat is becoming more serious than ransomware and other modern-day cyberattack methods.

Cryptocurrency as a Payment Standard

Remember, while some people are investing in cryptocurrency as a get-rich-quick scheme, most people value the currency because of its potential use as a real-world currency. As digital currency becomes more commonplace and respected, people may start using it to pay for goods and services.

Some cryptocurrencies like SmartCash are deploying instant payment methods among others. This makes it more convenient for vendors to accept digital currency transactions in online and offline environments. It’s lucrative to adopt these payment method standards and accept a wider digital currency range.

Personal Investments

Of course, you can also consider getting into cryptocurrency yourself. You can do this as a personal investment strategy and way to diversify your income streams. Mining popular currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum is hard to make profitable. This is because of the number of people in the game and the overhead costs associated with starting and running a mining rig. However, you can still buy digital currency the same way you might buy a stock or bond.

All of these potential effects and opportunities specifically relate to cryptocurrency. They don’t consider blockchain’s enormous potential it could have on businesses and the overall economy. It’s time to research cryptocurrency and keep an eye on your competitors. The game may change quickly from here on out.