From the ashes of a “nuclear-meltdown” that was the 2008 market crash arose a glimmer of hope. Bitcoin. So what is it? Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin’s price peaked by the end of 2017 at $20,000 per coin. To say that Bitcoin is a game changer is an understatement.
How Does it Work?
All confirmed Bitcoin purchases, trades and transfers are recorded in a shared public ledger called block chain. It is this technology that allows Bitcoin to exist. The decentralized nature of block chain eliminates the need for a middle man (mainly banks) which enables free or “next to nothing” transfers instantly. To put it simply, Bitcoin works because it offers a secure alternative of fund transactions compared to the more traditional banking options.
What is Block Chain?
Block chain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. This coding breakthrough allows competitors to share a digital ledger across a network of computers without the need for a central authority. No single party has the power to manipulate the records making block chain immutable. However, block chain in itself in not limited to just Bitcoin. Providing a transparent and honest record-keeping platform, block chain technology is rampantly being adopted by not only other cryptocurrencies but by a vast amount of industries looking to achieve the next level of quality and accountability.
The Fundamental Value of Bitcoin
Bitcoin is labeled as the “grandfather” of all cryptocurrencies. There are currently over 1,500 cryptocurrencies with many more ICO’s on the horizon. Being the first, and most expensive, Bitcoin has found its way into the minds of many people around the world. Current projected Bitcoin adoption is between 1 million to 10 million users and according to LendEDU “roughly 78.5 of Americans have heard of Bitcoin”. Not to mention that currently there are 15 countries/unions involved with cryptocurrency regulations. With a sea of cryptocurrency and waves of ICO’s rolling in, assuming Bitcoin to be king would be a safe bet.
Block Chain Grows UP
Like a teenager living under their parent’s roof, block chain technology will, inevitably, claim its independence in the near future. Many major investors remain skeptical digital currency will last, however, are extremely interested in the actual application of block chain technologies. So what’s next for Bitcoin? Unfortunately, the only way for the average retail investor to accumulate cryptocurrencies is to purchase Bitcoin and trade it on an exchange. Once major exchanges start accepting fiat currency to purchase listed altcoins, sadly, Bitcoin will lose value. In summation, the question should not be “can block chain exist without Bitcoin?” rather “when will Bitcoin die?”