Cryptocurrency Guide | What is Cryptocurrency, Blockchain & Bitcoin

What is Bitcoin?

For nearly a decade, the world has been undergoing a financial revolution that has been fueled by an alternative currency known as Bitcoin (BTC). Bitcoin was developed in early 2009 in the wake of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Known as a cryptocurrency, a term we will explore later on, Bitcoin was launched with the explicit promise of offering consumers the chance to spend money in a virtually anonymous way. The goal with Bitcoin was simple from the start: offer consumers more control of their financial future by wresting it away from the large banking institutions that run the world. With that broad overview out of the way, let’s dig into the specific details of the world’s most promising cryptocurrency.

While the current cryptocurrency revolution has spread to thousands of different coins, each created by unique users, the root of the revolution can be traced back to a single individual. Satoshi Nakamoto was unveiled as the original creator of Bitcoin. Nakamoto, a talented software developer, first began proposing the viability of Bitcoin back in 2008. His goal was to create an electronic system of payments that were built around a mathematical proof. While cryptocurrency has navigated pretty far away from the concept that Nakamoto started with, the entire field owes him their thanks. Speaking of Nakamoto’s goals with Bitcoin, let’s go ahead and outline the primary concepts that he had been pursuing when he developed Bitcoin.

At face value, Bitcoin is simply an alternative tender that can be used to trade with individuals for goods and services. Bitcoin can even be exchanged for fiat currency through approved lenders. While Bitcoin is traded in regions all throughout the world, there ARE countries that are combatting the ascension of the coin. A few notable regions fighting against Bitcoin include Canada’s banking sector, Saudi Arabia, and China. There are many varied reasons for governments to oppose Bitcoin, though those reasons can all be contested by users who are familiar with the coin. The most common reason for government resistance to Bitcoin is that it gives users the ability to trade currency in an almost anonymous way. Additionally, the value of Bitcoin and the usability of cryptocurrency could eventually directly threaten fiat currency.

With that being said, Bitcoin is so much more important than just a simple piece of currency. If you’ve spent any measure of time researching cryptocurrency or simply paying attention to the tech sector, then you likely realize we are on the precipice of something huge. Bitcoin actually has the potential to completely change the world, as we know it in a number of different ways. Here are the primary goals Nakamoto was aiming for when he developed Bitcoin. We’ll also outline how these specific goals can be effective in changing the way that we live our lives.

No Financial System Oversight

Bitcoin is a decentralized form of currency, which puts it firmly out of the hands of a single owner or institution. There is no network of greedy financial professionals or politicians controlling the direction that Bitcoin travels in. For users who are uncomfortable with amoral financial institutions and federal governments, Bitcoin offers a viability that no other currency can match.

Supply Control

When the United States government needs more money, they press a button on the printing press and voila, the U.S. dollar duplicates and devalues at the same time. All fiat currencies are considered unlimited properties due to the fact that centralized banking institutions can control and manipulate the currency. The difference between our U.S. dollar example and Bitcoin is simple yet staggering: Bitcoin is a completely controlled currency that relies on an algorithm to control asset production. There is no politician with their hand on a lever, ready to print more BTC. Theoretically, having a controlled and limited supply of Bitcoin helps to make the cryptocurrency more viable in the long-run. Additionally, Bitcoin can be broken down into units. The smallest Bitcoin unit is known as a Satoshi and is considered to be an impossibly small fraction of a total coin. A Satoshi translates to 0.00000001 cents. This divisibility allows Bitcoin a flexibility that other currencies simply cannot match.

Anonymity

Finally, and most controversially, Bitcoin offers users the ability to make financial transactions under the veil of anonymity. While Bitcoin isn’t truly anonymous, there isn’t a validator, such as a bank, controlling the transaction itself. The Bitcoin transaction system needs only to know that User A has enough Bitcoin to send to User B. While the Bitcoin wallet system is anonymous to 99% of people, law enforcement professionals have their own specialized methods that can be used to trace transactions. Large crypto platforms, such as Coinbase, are legally required to use identity checks in order to verify their transactions. Bitcoin isn’t the currency of criminals but it is a more anonymous system than cash, credit or check.

Permanence

Finally, Bitcoin currently exists in a form that would be described as ‘immutable’. The reason for this description is simple: all transactions are final. There is no grand overseer, such as a financial regulatory service, that can enforce Bitcoin returns and refunds. Once a transaction goes through, all movement is final unless the two users come to a new agreement. This can be seen as both a good and a bad thing depending on your point of view. If you value currency that is completely separated from regulatory oversight, Bitcoin offers you the financial flexibility that is completely unheard of in most corners of the world. If you value safety and security, well, it stands to reason that Bitcoin may not be for you.

Bitcoin boldly charted new financial waters and in doing so, the cryptocurrency altered the financial world forever. There is no way of knowing just what the future will bring to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. While some governments around the world are harshly fighting against the rise of Bitcoin, others are embracing this new technology. It remains to be seen which side will win out in the end.