What is Bitcoin? Your Guide to Cryptocurrency

Another day, another professional expressing regret on how he or she could have been a millionaire by now had they invested in Bitcoin 7 years ago. Another swipe, another share on how Bitcoin’s value ascends to $10,000. If you have little to no knowledge about Bitcoin, check out our guide to cryptocurrency!

A week ago, Bitcoin reached a another high causing investors and non-investors alike to set their eyes to the much talked about cryptocurrency. With all the hype and marketing pointed to Bitcoin, let’s shed some light on how it came to be the towering digital cash everyone wants to have a piece of.

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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is one of the many cryptocurrencies currently circulating on the market. It is a digital currency that uses a peer-to-peer system. You can spend it on buying e-commerce goods, and many online retailers acknowledge Bitcoin for payments. Bitcoin can also be sold and converted to cash depending on the current value. Some businesses accept Bitcoin in exchange for services rendered as well. Bitcoins are kept in digital wallets, and private keys are needed to access them. If the key is lost, the currency in the wallet can never be used again.

The Beginning

It all started with the domain named bitcoin.org that was registered in 2008. Bitcoin was then released as an open-source software the following year by a creator that goes under the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. To this day the identity of the developer remains unconfirmed. It was said that one of the first notable bitcoin transactions was by the developer named Laszlo Hanyecz when he brought 2 boxes of pizza for 10,000 units back in 2010. Fast forward to today, and he is known as the guy who brought outrageously expensive boxes of pizza and started May 22 as Bitcoin Pizza Day.

The Hype

To say that Bitcoin is having a good run is an understatement. The currency has come a long way from 25¢ for 10,000 Bitcoins in 2010 to ten folds of that value. At the start of 2017, Bitcoin’s value reached $1,023 – a milestone at the time. Since then Bitcoin went nowhere but up. Bitcoin tapped on $11,000 early morning of Nov. 29, 2017. With the value making headlines in every news and social media platforms, more people started noticing and investing in Bitcoin. As the digital currency works the same way as stocks, the demand for Bitcoin grew resulting to over 1,000% in return.

How to get Bitcoin?

If you get this far on this article, you are probably eager to know how to get your hands on a couple of Bitcoins or even just one! Here are 3 ways of acquiring Bitcoin:

  1. Mine Bitcoins – solve complex mathematical problems and get rewarded for solutions with Bitcoin coins in a free application called Bitcoin miner
  2. Buy Bitcoins
  3. Sell product or service in exchange to Bitcoin

Bitcoin as a Cryptocurrency

A cryptocurrency is a digital form of exchange that uses cryptography for secured transactions. Not having any connection with central authority or government makes the alternative currency even more alluring to people. Its value depends on supply and demand but has a limited supply. All cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) have a set maximum limit. Bitcoin is the first decentralised and the most successfully implemented cryptocurrency.

Why is Bitcoin so popular among cybercriminals?

Bitcoin is as prevalent among cybercriminals as it is with investors. As Bitcoin expands, cyber-attacks follow through. There are endless cases of ransomware and other forms of cyber-attack incidents this year. Ransomware locks files and data until payment has been made. Attackers demand the payment to be made in Bitcoin. Cybercriminals switched from PayPal, Western Unions and other financial services wherein transactions need to be made in person or specific personal information is required to claim money to processing transactions with Bitcoin as Bitcoin wallets do not have to get tied to a specific bank account which easily makes transactions anonymous. Cybercriminals found hevan with Bitcoin’s ability to remain hidden and stay undetected.

The rise of Bitcoin is quite interesting as not many people fully understands how the digital currency or cryptocurrency works but still it is value keeps on soaring high. As people start hearing more about it, investors rush to ride the Bitcoin wagon. Even more interesting fact is that there are 16.5 million Bitcoins currently circulating and there are only 21 million bitcoins that can be mined. Because of that, people are speculating that the value of Bitcoin can go even higher and higher each step closer to the 21 million cap.

Now, there is no unanimous sentiment from economists and experts on the rise of Bitcoin. Some say it is a massive bubble doomed to burst any minute now. Others say it’s the currency of the future here to stay and somewhat comparable to gold. Bubble or not Bitcoin proved that innovation by thriving developers could contribute immensely to technological advancement in any field, financial or not.


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Posted by Dona Abilong

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