What is Bitcoin (BTC) ?
Future of BTC Cryptocurrency and know how to buy BTC

What is Bitcoin (BTC)?

#1 - What is Bitcoin?

To many, Bitcoin is the face of the cryptocurrency market, and for quite a few, it remains the only cryptocurrency they know.

Bitcoin: The Basics

  • The first to come into the spotlight, Bitcoin is a decentralized, blockchain based cryptocurrency.
  • It can be transferred from person to person, without the use of a financial institution, such as a bank. This is called a peer-to-peer transaction and eliminates the need of a middle-man.
  • All transactions are recorded and stored in a ‘ledger’, which is the blockchain. These are not stored in a single server but are distributed across the network, thus making them decentralized, and safe from unauthorized modifications.
  • In January 2009, an individual or a group of individuals using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto released the source code on SourceForge.
  • In 2010, Nakamoto handed over the Bitcoin network to Gavin Andresen, who then sought to decentralize it  

 

#2 - What are the benefits of Bitcoin?

Bitcoin Technology 

  1. Bitcoin eliminated one of the biggest disadvantages of digital cryptocurrencies faced before they took off, called double spending. With no intermediate authority to settle transactions and verify them, it was possible to spend the same funds twice.
  2. Bitcoin changed this using the blockchain - which was a public ledger of all the transactions in the network. Since this ledger was public, all the transactions are public and verified by the same people on the network who were using them. If someone were to attempt double spending, the network would only accept the transaction and add it to the network if it followed certain basic rules - such as the sender having sufficient balance.
  3. The people securing the Bitcoin network are called miners. Bitcoin mining is incentivized by block rewards - which are given in the form of Bitcoins to the Bitcoin miner performing Bitcoin mining. It’s a system that covers all ends - from keeping the network security to making sure there is an incentive to do so by the very people using the network.
  4. Sinc Bitcoin transactions are peer-to-peer transactions, they eliminate the need for a middle-man. They also intended to reduce the fees that intermediaries such as banks, typically charged.
  5. All the transactions are eternally recorded in the blockchain. They cannot be modified or deleted and can be used for verification by anyone as they present on a public platform.

Transactional Process

  1. Peer-to-peer transactions are how transactions are performed using Bitcoin.  
  2. A transaction fee is also taken, which historically has come out to be much lower as compared to those which would have been charged by banks. However, much of the controversy around Bitcoin in recent times has been its increasing transaction fees and slow speed, thanks to network congestion caused by everyone joining in.
  3. The bitcoins are registered to bitcoin addresses. The transactions done are from one address to another, and these are recorded on the ledgers.

Usage

  1. A lot of speculation is afoot on whether Bitcoin will either replace fiat currency or at least gain the status of a global currency.
  2. While this hasn’t come true yet, Bitcoin certainly is the mode of transaction in many shops and corporates, such as Subway, Playboy, Microsoft, Expedia, etc.
  3. As all transactions are recorded on a public ledger, they can be verified during the time of audits. Since the data can’t be falsified, the data can be trusted to be genuine.
  4. Due to peer-to-peer transactions, the transactions are quicker and eliminate the cost of the middleman.

Value Proposition

  1. Bitcoin ensures quick transaction without the need for a middle-man. This reduces the cost of transactions.
  2. All proceedings are recorded on a public platform, which ensures that no data is falsified or hidden.

 (Bitcoin & Dorian Nakamoto, suspected to be Satoshi. Source: Dataconomy)

(Bitcoin & Dorian Nakamoto, suspected to be Satoshi. Source: Dataconomy)

#3 - How to Buy and Store Bitcoin?

How to buy Bitcoin

The Bitcoin cryptocurrency is by far the most popular one globally - so you’re going to find it on every exchange with every pairing possible.

  1. Bitcoin can be mined; this is done using the Proof-of-Work model. It can also be bought using fiat currency from nearly every single cryptocurrency exchange - such as Bittrex, Binance, OKEx, Cryptopia and more.
  2. It can also be purchased by exchanging other cryptocurrencies which are paired with Bitcoin - such as Ethereum, Ripple, or nearly every other single cryptocurrency in the world.
  3. One of the ideal websites to perform Bitcoin transactions is CoinSwitch, the largest cryptocurrency exchange aggregator, which shows rates across exchanges, allowing the user to choose the best possible option available. It also allows you to store your Bitcoin cryptocurrency in your own Bitcoin wallet, allowing you to use it whenever needed, even if the site isn’t working. 

How to store Bitcoin

  1. Since Bitcoin was one of the first cryptocurrencies, it can be stored in almost every wallet, which originated from the need to store Bitcoins before anything else.
  2. A BTC wallet comes in a wide range of options - such as the hardware based Trezor, Ledger, Software wallets include Electrum.
  3. There are even mobile wallets for Bitcoin owing to its popularity - such as the Samurai Wallet for Android, or bread wallet, which is available on both iOS and Android.

 

#4 - What is the future of Bitcoin?

  1. Bitcoin is the center of attention for the cryptocurrency industry - and the reason the market is so hyped. Its meteoric price rise - from $97 in July 2013 to nearly $20,000 in early 2018 created a mania of sorts. And a justifiable one too - this rise had returned over 200x to its investors in just over 4 years. The returns were even higher - over 2000 times, for early investors indulged ins some BTC investing prior to 2013.
  2. But its bubble soon burst and its price did decline quite often. It was later observed that bubbles are aplenty on Bitcoin’s price chart - with the cryptocurrency gaining newer highers every single time after periodic dips. It has seen many ups and downs over the time, but it has now become stable in the first half of 2018.
  3. Bitcoin valuation of June 2018 stands at a staggering $115 billion. The cryptocurrency has commanded a majority of the entire crypto market ever since its inception, although it fluctuates wildly in value.

 Also Read: Complete Analysis of Bitcoin | Live Bitcoin (BTC) Price Charts & Predictions

Price History

Date

Open

High

Low

Close

Volume

Market Cap

Jun 01, 2018

7,500.70

7,604.73

7,407.34

7,541.45

4,921,460,000

128,014,000,000

Mar 01, 2018

10,385.00

11,052.30

10,352.70

10,951.00

7,317,280,000

175,427,000,000

Dec 01, 2017

10,198.60

11,046.70

9,694.65

10,975.60

6,783,120,000

170,436,000,000

Jan 01, 2017

963.66

1,003.08

958.70

998.33

147,775,000

15,491,200,000

Jul 01, 2016

672.52

686.15

669.59

676.30

134,431,000

10,570,600,000

Jan 01, 2016

430.72

436.25

427.52

434.33

36,278,900

6,473,530,000

Oct 01, 2016

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

365,091

6,951,590

Jul 01, 2015

263.35

265.17

255.77

258.62

27,029,800

3,774,140,000

Jun 01, 2014

623.69

671.51

619.91

630.23

45,259,100

8,007,450,000

Jul 01, 2013

97.51

97.66

86.30

88.05

-

1,107,130,000

  • Financial institutions have varying opinions on Bitcoin; some are neutral, some think it is the next best thing to sliced bread, and others think it will soon be forgotten. J.P. Morgan is willing to take the cryptocurrency further, while others such as RBI have banned trading in Bitcoin amongst other cryptocurrencies
  • It has now come to a stable value, and it seems to remain in that.

 

#5 - How is Bitcoin different from other cryptocurrencies?

  1. Bitcoin was one of the first cryptocurrencies to become popular. It has many hard-forks, i.e., significant permanent changes in its code, which has led to the formation of currencies like Bitcoin Cash with separate characteristics - such as increased transaction speed, low costs, etc.
  2. It has also spawned many altcoins (alternative coins). While most of it is modeled on Bitcoin, they have diverged to other functions as well, though their foundation remains decentralized blockchain.
  3. However, Bitcoin is not focused on privacy, with its blockchain letting users access anyone’s wallet data. This problem is solved by privacy-centric coins like Monero.

 

#6 - Should you Invest in Bitcoin? 

  1. While Bitcoin certainly is stable now, it has seen quite a few ups and downs in the past. This, however, has not hindered sentiment around Bitcoin investment for the market at large.
  2. There are opposing opinions in the cryptocurrency market on whether Bitcoin will continue to rise as much as the rest of the cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin’s share of the entire market is often called ‘Bitcoin Dominance’, and it has been on the downside in the recent past.
  3. Despite this, it still enjoys immense influence on the cryptocurrency market and tends to drag down (or up) the entire market with its movements. Whether this dominance will continue is difficult to guess, so a Bitcoin investment may need to be backed up by more research before you begin picking which cryptocurrency you’d rather buy.
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