What is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a type of medium of exchange that uses cryptography techniques to secure transactions, control the creation of new coins and anti-counterfeiting measures. It is extremely difficult to counterfeit because of this security features and it also holds its own unique serial number.
Digital Currency is not directly controlled or monitored by any specific country, so therefore it’s excluded directly to any laws, rules and regulations of any government, corporation or bank.
The first сrурtосurrеnсу was сrеаtеd bу Bitcoin іn 2009.
Today there are hundrеdѕ of other cryptocurrencies, оftеn rеfеrrеd tо аѕ Altcoins. The lаѕt few уеаrѕ has ѕееn Cryptocurrency ѕоurеd in рорulаtіоn асrоѕѕ thе world.
Dіѕсоvеr whу уоu should buу аnd use a dіgіtаl сurrеnсу. Such аѕ Bіtсоіn and Ethеrеum
What Are Cryptocurrencies?
The term “cryptocurrency” is short for “cryptographic currency”. It refers to a new type of digital money.
Bitcoin was the world’s first cryptocurrency. Today, there are over 1500+ cryptocurrencies – including well-known tokens like Ethereum and silly ones like Weedcoin.
Cryptocurrencies are similar to regular currencies. They can be used as a medium of exchange or a store of value. You can buy products and services with cryptocurrencies. Or, you can store your wealth in cryptocurrencies.
Why Cryptocurrencies Are Valuable?
Why did we need to launch an entirely new wave of currencies? What’s the value behind cryptocurrencies? The value lies in three core principles: Decentralization, Fixed Supply, and Transferability.
Traditional currencies – like the US Dollar – are controlled by institutions like the US Federal Reserve System. Other countries have their own central banks – like the Bank of Canada or the Bank of England. These institutions allow governments and banks to control the supply of currency. They can “print” units of this currency whenever they like.
When a government prints money, that money is called a fiat currency. “Fiat” simply means “by decree”. A piece of paper only has value “by decree” when the US government puts their stamp on it and calls it a $100 bill, for example.
Cryptocurrencies work differently. Cryptocurrencies are not controlled by anyone. They’re not controlled by any specific person, nor are they controlled by a government or bank. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are “decentralized” because control is spread across the entire network of bitcoin users.
Cryptocurrencies also work differently because their supply is capped. There can only ever be 21 million bitcoins in existence, for example. Meanwhile, traditional fiat currencies like the USD have no fixed supply: the government can print off more US Dollars whenever they like. That’s why we have inflation. The total amount of USD bills in circulation is increasing every year, which means the value of each USD bill in circulation is gradually decreasing. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have a fixed supply that leads to deflation instead of inflation – which is why the value of bitcoin has steadily increased over time.
The other unique thing about cryptocurrencies is their transferability. Cryptocurrencies can easily be transferred anywhere in the world without the need to rely on a third party – like a bank. You can send bitcoin anywhere in the world without needing to verify your identity or attach personal information to a transaction.
Most cryptocurrencies also have comparatively low fees. It might cost $50 to transfer $200 with Western Union, for example, but only $0.05 to transfer $2 million in Bitcoin. This is a huge benefit to anyone in the world – whether you’re a millionaire seeking to transfer money securely and cheaply or you’re a migrant worker sending money to friends and family overseas.
Cryptocurrency transfers have another advantage: transfers are irreversible and secure, which means merchants don’t have to worry about the cost of fraud or chargebacks.
Why Bitcoin Is a Big Deal
Bitcoin was introduced online in October 2008. By January 2009, the bitcoin blockchain had released its first bitcoin. So began the age of cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin was the first to introduce the concept of a distributed ledger – something we know as the blockchain. Today, bitcoin remains the largest and most popular cryptocurrency by market cap. In fact, bitcoin has not been dethroned once since 2009 – despite challengers like Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC) coming close at various points in history.
Bitcoin grew in popularity for all the reasons listed above: it’s easy to transfer. It’s decentralized and censorship-resistant. And it can be accessed without the need for traditional banks.
In terms of cryptocurrencies, however, bitcoin isn’t the best cryptocurrency in the world today. It’s not the fastest cryptocurrency. In fact, a bitcoin transaction takes about 10 minutes to complete – compared to milliseconds for other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is also plagued by relatively high fees – transactions can cost several dollars compared to fractions of a penny on other blockchains.
Bitcoin clearly has drawbacks. Bitcoin, however, remains popular because of its first mover advantage. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to emerge on the scene – and that’s why it remains so popular.
Satoshi Nakamoto: The Mysterious Creator of Bitcoin
Bitcoin, like a good superhero, has an intriguing origin story. You may have heard about Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi created bitcoin.
Satoshi isn’t some Japanese computer programmer. Instead, Satoshi Nakamoto is an anonymous individual – or an anonymous group of people – responsible for the creation and early development of bitcoin. Nakamoto first published bitcoin’s research paper online on October 31, 2008. The paper was titled, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.”
Satoshi continued to develop bitcoin until mid-2010. Satoshi actively communicated with other bitcoin developers while contributing to the bitcoin source code. Then, Satoshi suddenly disappeared. Satoshi handed control of the bitcoin source code repository to another core developer named Gavin Andresen. Satoshi also transferred several domains to various prominent members of the bitcoin community. Then, Satoshi was never heard from again.
The main innovation in Satoshi’s Bitcoin invention was the development of a distributed computation system known as the “proof-of-work algorithm” that conducts global transaction validation every 10 minutes, allowing the network to validate and come to consensus agreement about the state of each transaction.
Bitcoin was the first decentralized digital currency to use the blockchain technology and after its proven record of success and practicality it has gain acceptance among both merchants and consumers.
The Growth of Bitcoin
The bitcoin network launched in January 2009. In the early days, you could “mine” bitcoin with any ordinary computer. You could also purchase bitcoins for a fraction of a penny. The value of the currency grew over the years. Eventually, people recognized the value of a decentralized, global currency. Retailers began accepting bitcoin and software developers started creating bitcoin tools. The value and usability of bitcoin continued to grow.
The day bitcoin hit parity with the USD was a huge deal. Bitcoin users celebrated like they had just won the lottery. Finally, one bitcoin was worth $1 USD. Bitcoin reached parity with the USD in February 2011.
A few short years later, bitcoin hit an all time high of $1400 USD. Then, it crashed back down to $300 or $400 after the Mt. Gox hack. In 2017, bitcoin hit a new all time high of $20,000 before settling back to $10,000.
The exciting news If you are reading this today is that the digital currency have not reach mass adoption yet. Is safe to say we are just scratching the surface for the potential of Bitcoins and cryptocurrency.
With cryptocurrencies transactional value going up everyday, a pre fix market cap and the produce supply of cryptocurrency decreasing over time, the value of Bitcoin should continue on a rising trend. As opposed to fiat currency that usually decreases and loses value over time.