Bitcoin, the forefather of over 1000 altcoins and tokens to date, was launched in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto as a new form of electronic cash. This asset was the one that started the crypto mania we know today, as this payment method reached the farthest corners of the modern world. In many ways, Bitcoin changed the game both in boosting the field of online security of sending and receiving payments, but it also had quite an effect on how we trade online, as well.
Cryptocurrencies took over the global stage during 2017, but there is more to them than just unbelievably high volatility. This payment method could very well be considered a breakthrough in the fintech (financial technology) industry.
Bitcoin’s Purpose and Contribution to the Fintech Community
This crypto coin stands out from its eCommerce competitors by supplying merchants and customers alike with a decentralized, open source software, better known as the blockchain. Without going into too many technical details, this network stores the personal data of its users on several servers rather than depend on a single server. Most eCommerce companies, however, are more inclined to use single servers, including the industry’s eBay and Amazon. This one line of defense system might be the reason for clients’ accounts being hacked on these websites, creating a multi-million industry designed to fight against cyber-criminals.
This attribute has contributed to the fact that Bitcoin was and still is far superior to its competition in protecting the privacy of its clientele’s funds and identity. Attempting to trace any transaction to the buyer or seller is nearly impossible with this technology’s high level of encryption.
In fact, the blockchain technology has become so popular over the past two years or so that both new and existing businesses have adopted it as their business model. Some of these include Alibaba Group Holding, American Express Company, Facebook, Walt Disney Company, Ford Motor Company, Goldman Sachs, and IBM, to name a few.
Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of this payment form is rumored to be an individual or group of individuals, but no one seems to know who they are in real life.
A Popularity Contest
While Bitcoin seems to have lost its edge due to its price and sometimes erratic volatility, it was once a highly coveted asset. Some say Bitcoin is a ticking time bomb regarding its security mechanism, but this altcoin still managed to win over many people worldwide.
Roger Ver, who is also known as the Bitcoin Jesus, was one of this cryptocurrency’s first supporters. He had also invested in several Bitcoin related startup projects, but has since moved onto Bitcoin Cash after their eventual split.
While Bitcoin may not be as popular as it was in early 2018, some countries have accepted it as legal tender and incorporated into their citizens’ everyday lives. Japan the first country to recognize this cryptocurrency as a legal form of currency back in April 2017, and those living there are able of paying with it in a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, and other businesses across the country.
Other countries such as Germany have also followed suit, but the custom of using altcoins in everyday transaction is popular mostly in Asia.
Due to its market value, new traders often opt for other crypto assets like Litecoin, Ethereum. Monero, Bitcoin Cash, and Dash.
ue, new traders often opt for other crypto assets like Litecoin, Ethereum. Monero, Bitcoin Cash, and Dash.
Nowadays, Bitcoin is often found circling the $6000-$7000 levels, but it wasn’t always this pricey. In its early days, one unit of Bitcoin stood at a market price of about $0.0001 back in June 2009. The virtual coin’s market value saw some high volatility and reached new highs every following year until 2017 rolled around. Bitcoin started out at $998, and was accompanied by other major altcoins to the top. This year is considered a pivotal point in the history of the crypto market.
In January 2018, Bitcoin conquered the $19,665.39 mark, which was a pleasant surprise for many investors who bought the asset for a lower price. Traders flocked to it, but then disaster struck. Bitcoin has since reached the $8000 mark a few times, but hasn’t been successful in holding onto it. The future price point of this asset, be it a new high or low, is still unclear.
One question remains: What factors can change these virtual currencies’ prices?
Hard Forks Ahead
Reality based assets include fiat currencies (USD, EUR, GBP), commodities (gold, silver, oil. Cocoa), stocks (Google, Amazon, Ford Motors etc) or indices (Nasdaq, DAX 30, FTSE 100 etc ). They are often influenced by demand in the case of food items and precious metals, or politics and other international events in the case of FX. For example, the USA could lose China as its biggest soybean consumer during the two economic titans’ Trade War, which would translate into cutting ties with a party that spent $14 billion just on this commodity last year.
Cryptocurrencies, however, are simply unaffected by these events. The factors that can make their values soar or drop are their inner politics, supply and demand, and regulation.
One such event was the hard fork that birthed the Bitcoin Cash on August 1, 2017. The situation took place after a number of developers from the original Bitcoin team rebelled against the decision to add a second layer where data would be stored. By determining to keep all the data readily available on the actual blockchain, certain changes had to be made such as enlarging the size of the storage units (blocks). This fork was soon followed by another one splitting to Bitcoin Gold, among others.
Bitcoin’s offsprings include the Bitcoin Atom, Bitcoin Platinum, Super Bitcoin, and Bitcoin GOD. Will there be more versions splitting from Bitcoin’s blockchain in the near future?
Though Bitcoin is often referred to as a bubble that will eventually burst in the faces of its investors (some may say it already has), the future remains clear. On the one hand, some investors or even onlookers may say this virtual currency will never be able to bounce back, thus making any open trade on it a waste of the individual’s time and invested capital.
Market experts and analysts, on the other hand, have declared the Bitcoin has yet to have reached its full potential. CEO of The Blackmore Group Phillip Nunn set another exciting target when he declared that the Bitcoin would be worth $60,000 by the end of this year. Nunn was seconded by Julian Hosp, the co-founder and president of TenX, which provides its clients with an eWallet dedicated to store cryptocurrencies.
In April 2018, CNBC reported that tech investor Tim Draper assessed that Bitcoin would reach the $250,000 mark by 2022.
With big personalities in the crypto market making such bold statements, many traders are in no hurry to let go of their precious Bitcoin units just yet. What will happen next is anybody’s guess.
Bitcoin, better known as its ticker symbol BTC on web based trading arenas and exchanges, is a popular crypto asset. While its price tag may startle you, you should know that buying satoshis is also an option. What are satoshis? A Bitcoin is comprised of 100,000,000 units known as satoshis, which have been named after the crypto king’s original creator(s).
How can You trade Bitcoin Online?
There are two kinds of trading arenas where you could potentially trade Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, an online crypto exchange and your run of the mill broker. While they may sound like they are one of the same, there are some prominent differences. First, a crypto exchange will require that you have a special eWallet dedicated specifically to storing your crypto assets. Second, you’d be limited to just trading this one kind of assets.
When you trade with a web based brokerage, on the other hand, you have endless possibilities. While you could just trade cryptocurrencies day in and day out, you would also have access into any other market. In addition, there’s no need for a special eWallet, as your funds are kept in your balance. You could trade Bitcoin by itself (buying or selling), against fiat currencies such as the euro or US dollar, or against other virtual coins like Ethereum or Dash.