Whenever there’s any talk about cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin always comes up. After all, Bitcoin was the original cryptocurrency, a type of digital money that was developed in 2008. The originator of Bitcoin believed that there’s a way to exact transactions without the control or involvement of governments or other businesses. It’s basically the total privatization of money.
The core idea was simple. Any person can create a unique and valid line of code that will be written and marked with ownership on a shared public ledger known as the blockchain. Someone else on the blockchain can buy this line of code using his or her own cryptocurrency wallet, and the ownership is then transferred. This entire transaction is recorded on the ledger, and so on. Bitcoins can be bought and traded by anyone and stored securely through virtual wallets or on your computer. Every trader is assigned a digital address with a private key, and this can’t be tampered with or used by anyone else. To create new coins, you can also solve mathematical problems using your computer, through a process called “Mining”.
This idea of digital money was a hit and not just for techies either. When Bitcoin was introduced, it became possible to conduct global transactions at no cost and with total anonymity. Apparently, this was an attractive notion because since then, over 900 other cryptocurrencies have been created, totaling up to more than 150 billion in worth.
That’s saying a lot considering its humble beginnings. Bitcoin opened up with an unset value and in one transaction, 10,000 BTC was used to indirectly purchase two pizzas from Papa Johns. Today, Bitcoin is worth more than gold with one coin equal to roughly $4,300. If you had gotten coins back then, you can calculate how many millions you would have now.
Bitcoin prices have seen many dips over the years probably as a reflection of the population’s general economic sentiment. Bitcoins experienced a high demand in 2013 that caused the price to skyrocket to just almost $1,000. However, that number plummeted dramatically soon after, and its taken until recently for Bitcoin to resurface back to where it was. It recently crossed the $4,300 mark and has been staying in the vicinity for now.
There’s still no certainty as to what the future might hold for Bitcoin and the growing blockchain community. Cryptocurrency traders are still considered a niche community, and while the community is growing in size, the majority of the population is still lost on the idea. The concept of Bitcoin, let alone the language of it, is not an easy one to take on if you’re outside the tech or financial industries. It’ll take a layperson some depth of research before he or she can be comfortable with Bitcoin terminology. The technical aspect of Bitcoin is another matter altogether.
Perhaps, the future of cryptocurrencies will lie in the coming generation of coders launching promising ICO’s (Initial Coin Offerings), which allow the general public to capitalize on the growth of the next major internet success story, like ImpactWindow.com they can have great success when regional events like hurricanes take place.
For now, keep an eye on Bitcoin and make sure you’re not last to get on the wagon.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.