Have you heard of an online currency called Bitcoin?
It is an intangible form of currency that has got the attention of people all over the world.
Did you know that even you can mine Bitcoins?
Bitcoin currency is worth $11,826 per Bitcoin!
Though there are some negative opinions about Bitcoin and its legitimacy, one thing is for sure; Bitcoin is not a scam.
Would you like to know more about Bitcoin?
Continue reading this article to find out ten interesting things you should know about Bitcoin.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is one of the many cryptocurrencies. It was introduced through a Bitcoin white paper on October 31, 2008, by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto. It was implemented in 2009 when open-source software was released.
Bitcoin is built on a distributed network, so all the related activities are authenticated and validated by the mass collaboration of individuals within the ecosystem. Just like a cent is the smallest unit of the US dollar, a ‘satoshi’ is the smallest unit of bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that is not dependent on banks. The money can be sent to and from 16 characters encrypted addresses on the peer-to-peer bitcoin block chain network without the need for intermediaries. A bitcoin transaction is done by generating two keys; public and private keys. Both keys are large integers and are usually represented in figures and letters, and without them, transactions can’t be carried out.
With the increase in the volume of this currency, Bitcoin specialized ATMs are also introduced. There are two main types of such ATMs:
- The basic one allows the users only to purchase Bitcoins,
- The complex one enables the users both to buy and sell the virtual money.
The two main manufacturers of the Bitcoin ATMs are Genesis Coin and General Bytes.
Bitcoin is not the only virtual currency in circulation; some other leading virtual currencies include Tether, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
Bitcoins: Facts & Figures
- On January 3, 2009, the Genesis Block or block number one is mined.
- On January 12, 2009, the first Bitcoin transaction was conducted.
- The first-ever Bitcoin transaction was the purchase of two Papa John’s Pizzas, with 10,000 bitcoin by a programmer from Florida, named Laszlo Hanyecz on May 22, 2010.
- May 22, 2010, is termed as ‘Bitcoin Pizza Day’ and it is celebrated by cryptocurrency enthusiasts worldwide.
- The highest worth of Bitcoin was recorded in December 2017, $13,860 for 1 BTC.
- As of August 21, 2020, 1 BTC is equivalent to $11,826.
- As of August 1, 2020, there are 8,936 Bitcoin ATMs globally, out of which 6,692 ATMs are in the USA only.
10 things you should know about Bitcoins
1. Bitcoin prices are volatile
The prices of bitcoins can increase or decrease over a short period of time due to its novelty and illiquid markets. Volatility undermines its ability to function as a proper currency. It is a high-risk asset therefore it is not recommended to put your savings in bitcoins. In case you receive payments in Bitcoin then convert them to local currency.
2. Payments are irreversible
It is important to re-check the address to which you are sending the money because the transactions cannot be reversed. Though Bitcoin does detect typos and will give the error if the address is invalid, it is better to have controls in place for additional safety.
3. Transactions are transparent
The best thing about Bitcoin is that it is completely transparent. All the transactions can be seen in one block chain. This complete openness had gained a lot of trust and security.
4. Bitcoins are held in digital wallets
Bitcoins are stored in digital wallets that are made when you sign up. It is just like a physical wallet but much more secure.
5. Need to secure your wallet
Though Bitcoins are kept in secured digital wallets, it is extremely important to store it safely. If you lose the wallet, it is lost forever. People lose their bitcoins wallet mostly because of mishandling public and private keys. The largest personal loss of $7,500 occurred when James Howell accidentally threw away an old hard drive containing his private keys.
6. Buy things with bitcoins
Though Bitcoin seems to be a not so commonly accepted currency, but it is still acceptable as a legitimate payment by companies like Dell, Microsoft, Expedia, Overstock and etc. Some high street chains like Subway and KFC in Canada also accepts Bitcoins.
7. Mine bitcoins
Bitcoins are created through a process called mining and the core technology behind it is called Block chain technology. In the mining process, you use a computer program to solve mathematical problems to verify various transactions around the world. As a reward of solving those problems, the Bitcoin miners get paid a certain number of bitcoins.
8. Almost zero transaction cost
Bitcoin transactions are free unlike a bank account or PayPal transactions where a certain transaction and other service fees are charged. This is because, in the bitcoin system, there is no middleman so the transactions are held free of charge.
9. A finite number of bitcoins
The creator of the cryptocurrency only made 21 million bitcoins. So the maximum number that will ever be mined is 21 million. And 17 million are already mined and are in circulation.
10. No one single entity controls bitcoin
Generally, the currency we use is mostly in the control of banks. They are revalued or devalued based on the global market and money in circulation. Bitcoin is completely the opposite. It is in fact controlled by everyone who uses bitcoin as the software used for this currency logs and validates activities of the bitcoins across the globe.
Bitcoin is one of the 21st century’s biggest technological breakthroughs. And there is no denial that its acceptance will increase over time. It has strong aspects like transparency and no transaction cost. But if the volatility is looked upon, the investment aspect is a bit of concern.
So, if you are still interested to know more about Bitcoin and its current news, you can check Bitcoin in the future website. It is an online news portal that aims to provide the latest crypto news and real-time updates around the world.