Everything starts with a need. There was a need to have a decentralised form of transaction to carry out huge transfers anonymously and tackle the inflation risk! This need for a fast transaction without the influence of a middleman gave birth to Bitcoin!
Although the date Bitcoin was first put to use may not be stated, its emergence is brisk globally. The adoption has been massive since its announcement in October 2008. The founder of Bitcoin (Identity unknown) upholds the name Satoshi Nakamoto of Japanese origin. He was valued at about a million Bitcoin 3 years ago.
Bitcoin, abbreviated as BTC, is the world’s first known electronic or digital currency, free from geographical boundaries and not under the control of any government entity.
The crypto coin operates on blockchain technology which acts as an electronic public ledger. Anyone in the world can control it. All you need is a working internet connection & anonymity, and you’re in crypto. These transactions within the crypto space can be tracked & verified using this ledger. The blockchain is visible to everyone on the blockchain network, which affects verification.
In November 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto shared a white paper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” He shared this via email to elite cryptographers!
This is what it looked like:
Many people responded to this with sheer criticism and were sceptical about this new form of currency! Few of them, however, excitedly offered to join hands with Satoshi and help!
A SourceForge account which acted as an open-source code repository, was created to start the coding process for the first-ever Bitcoin software. Satoshi mined the first Bitcoin block in January 2009, called the ‘genesis block’. Thus happened the first-ever bitcoin transaction on January 12th! Satoshi did this transaction with Hal Finney, who was among the few people who helped Satoshi in these developments!
Bitcoin, termed as BTC, alongside alternative crypto coins like Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), etc., are like bits of a single whole. Bitcoins can be mined by programmed hardware on the blockchain network.
It is worth noting that there are no physical coins (BTC). All the bitcoin balances are stored in a public ledger accessible to anyone on the blockchain network.
The blockchain is a collection of blocks with a collection of transactions. As the processes and algorithms are transparent, it is almost impossible to cheat the system in practice.
Interestingly, since the BTC launch, it’s fast becoming very usual and replacing the regular FIAT currency. With BTC, one can trade, transact, accept, and even store the coin in a wallet. A series of platforms are beginning to accept it as an assured means of payment. Bitcoin casinos started emerging then with great speed. BTC casinos have become more popular than traditional ones, and people have started enjoying the BTC online games!
Unlike other payment processors like Payoneer, Paypal, or Credit cards, the transaction fees for BTC are comparatively low. The user’s privacy is also not compromised. The system it operates on is seemingly transparent. As a result, it is almost impossible to manipulate or lose your coin. Bitcoin circulation is predicted to be 21 million in quantity. The last of the coin is expected to be mined by 2050.
As many countries consider legalising the coin, the demand is foreseen to rise.
Unlike traditional bank accounts, which financial institutions control, BTC is decentralised and not regulated by the country’s federal government. These institutions demand some sort of paperwork with a whole lot of their personal information submitted. As a decentralised cryptocurrency, Bitcoin does not require such paperwork and maintains the user’s privacy. All needed is a wallet that can be verified with any issued ID. Once that is done, every transaction is carried out in the wallet.
The Bitcoin Investment
Bitcoin can be acquired in wallets by mining, purchasing from other coin holders, Airdrops, or exchanges like coin base. It is more of an investment if it is understood and traded. It is, however, expected to yield profits if there is a rise in its value if alternatively stored in wallets. Bitcoin’s value is dependent on the law of demand and supply. If the demand is high (adoption), there is a high tendency for the price of the coin to increase.
The value of the BTC fluctuates with several factors. If we look back, we would see that the price of BTC was about $1000 at the beginning of 2014. Now fast-forward to 2020, where it is valued at $11,000. That means anyone who might have invested in the coin then & stored it would have eleven times worth of their investment in 2020!
Even with mass adoption, it is yet to be legalised across various nations. The government is so concerned because it has no power over it. However, many people anticipate daily & are positive that digital currencies will be globally accepted for online transactions & e-deals.
The coin is versatile, with awesome prospects. However, the mainstream is not convinced due to the coin’s volatility and anonymity. They owe their argument to the history of Mt.Gox, which later folded, and fear that history would replay itself.
Bitcoin is easy to carry. A billion dollars in Bitcoin can be stored on a memory stick and placed in one’s pocket. It is that easy to transport Bitcoins compared to paper money. Crypto supporters are positive about its growth as professional venture capitalists monitor the newer exchanges.
The concept of cryptocurrency is still unconventional compared to the traditional system. However, It is fast evolving, and many supporters believe it is the future.