Bitcoin is a new virtual currency evoking amazement and confusion as it entered the mainstream in 2009. Bitcoin represents anonymity as it is used to store money and make secure payments without the requirement of bank or the people’s names. With Bitcoin, the money can be liberated similarly to how information is made free with internet.
Bitcoin works on blockchain, which is a public ledger holding the transactions’ records held and updated by the network users. Bitcoins must be created by generating blocks on the network. The creation of the blocks must be done cryptographically by computer power harnessing of the user, which is added to the blockchain that allows the earnings of the users grow by keeping the network running. The ceiling is in place as to how many bitcoins can be created. The limit is slightly under 21 million bitcoin. There have been 14 million bitcoins in circulation last known, with each worth £1,800 as per the latest figures.
The interest is growing on bitcoin as the people who hoarded money here has turned into millionaires. This is due to the appreciating value of bitcoins which has doubled this year.
The enigma of bitcoin is as big as its founder! A Japanese man and a secret internet user, named Satoshi Nakamoto is supposedly behind the creation of bitcoin and blockchain. However, the person could not be found anywhere by the journalists and every attempt to unmask him or his identity has ended up in failure.
Despite such mystery surrounding bitcoin, it can boast of 5.8 million users having cryptocurrency wallets, as per a research conducted by University of Cambridge.
The key differentiating factor of bitcoin is the transactions without fees and anonymity of the user. Thus, it has become happy hunting ground for the money launderers, cyber criminals, and the drug dealers as bitcoin wallet cannot be tied to any one individual.
Bitcoin shows lot of promise to the investors. Although, the price of bitcoin has largely been volatile, the average of the changes is on the upward side.
The success of bitcoin made headway to other similar players in the cryptocurrency industry, such as, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and more. In fact the competitors of bitcoin are offering better opportunities to the investors and have been growing faster. The bitcoin, in fact is losing its market share to its newly emerged competitors.
The cryptocurrency industry is still in the early stages of its lifecycle. Although many critics have discarded this industry as fraudulent and a fad which is not going to last, there is no denial that bitcoin and other players of the industry has given the investors a jump that is unprecedented and nearly impossible to obtain from the traditional financial channels.