The wild world of cryptocurrency

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You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin. Maybe you know the story surrounding its meteoric rise from less than a penny to almost sixty thousand dollars per coin, or the mystery around its anonymous creator. One way or another, this internet token has most likely crossed paths with you at some point over the past few years. 


Maybe someone has tried explaining it to you, or you tried to learn online. But most likely, you don’t really know what a Bitcoin is. Even though I’ve taken some time to look into it and watch the crypto scene to stay up to date, I’m not even sure I really know what I’m talking about. 


So what is a Bitcoin, and why is it worth so much money?


In 2009, Bitcoin was created by the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. His goal was to create a decentralized currency, an ambitious task that had been attempted in the past but never executed correctly. Governments and other powerful groups have always come between currency and activists, never allowing the dreamers to see their ideas come to life. 


After decades of technological progress in the field of cryptography, Bitcoin finally became a reality. The idea was that this digital currency would be regulated not by a central bank or governed by the Federal Reserve, but instead by its users. Bitcoin operates on a “blockchain” – a fancy word used to describe the system that keeps track of all Bitcoin transactions. 


Everyone who has ever sent or made a purchase with Bitcoin can see their transaction on the Blockchain. This makes it easy for users to have the accountability of a traditional financial system while maintaining their independence.


Even though Bitcoin’s value is measured in the hundreds of global currencies, the price of a good or service can be denoted in BTC. For example, a Tesla Model 3 with a price of $37,490 could also be given a value of 0.7 BTC. This allows users to ease the barriers of communication between different countries and cultures, uniting them under one currency.


The party doesn’t stop with Bitcoin, however, as there are hundreds of alternative digital assets like Bitcoin, known in the crypto world as “altcoins.” Just like with any technology, there are always ways to improve upon it and make changes. If technology was never changed we would all be reading this in print instead of in a web browser. 


Altcoins like Ethereum, Cardano, Litecoin and many others have all utilized blockchain technology to put their own spin on what it means to be a cryptocurrency. There have even been a number of “memecoins” such as the increasingly popular Dogecoin, endorsed by none other than Elon Musk. There truly is something for everybody in the world of crypto.


Not every asset is worth as much as Bitcoin, but that shouldn’t deter you from supporting the movement. Many of these coins (and the technology as a whole) are in their infancy. Bitcoin has been around for over a decade, giving it a huge head start relative to its competitors. This doesn’t mean every coin will be worth five figures, or that every altcoin will promise opportunities to 10x your money, but solid investment opportunities are out there. 


Aside from the potential monetary gains, the allure of Bitcoin’s tech is strong. Worries of inflation have been making the news, and there has been a good amount of debate over the true value of Bitcoin versus a precious metal like Gold. Such debate has led to many calling Bitcoin “the new gold.” In the past, physical assets like gold and silver served as hedges against inflation. 


This could explain the high price of one Bitcoin, as there are a finite number of coins, contrary to the easily printable dollar. If the price of a dollar were to continue to inflate, Bitcoin would certainly enjoy a nice gain in price. Putting a portion of your savings in Bitcoin could prove to be a real lifesaver.


 As more companies adopt cryptocurrency as a valid form of payment, it would be wise not to get left behind in the 20th century. After all, nobody wants that dirty paper money anyways!


All of this could prove to be a flash in the pan, especially considering the worries of governmental intervention. None of this is confirmed, and it’s more likely that large governments like the United States would adopt Bitcoin than turn it away. Either way, be careful when investing in cryptocurrency, and treat it like you would any investment.