Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System
February 27, 2018
An unknown individual by the alias of “Satoshi Nakamoto” had a vision that attracted several investors to devote their resources back in 2009. Bitcoin: the first universal, worldwide, digital currency. Released January 3, 2009, the cryptocoin was worth less than $1 until 2011, now the market cap (as of January 10, 2018) is over $236,699,138,617 billion at $14,094 a coin. But what is cryptocurrency?
There are over 1300 different crypto coins worth a variety of prices as of December 2017. Each coin serves different purposes in the online market, and each is accepted as payment across several platforms on the web. Each asset has its own form of regulation to prevent over-saturation of the market. For instance, Bitcoin is “mined”. Contrary to how governments print their money; the currency is mined by a user essentially solving math problems. When enough problems are solved Bitcoin is released to the user, thus entering existence. The process is aimed to stop over-saturation of the coins in the online market, and prevent the production of the currency at exponential quantities.
Bitcoin is not the only big bill people are talking about. Ethereum is worth the second most at $1,349 a coin. Ethereum has drastically increased in price since January of 2017, at $8 per token. Ethereum is collected in a similar way to Bitcoin by having different users try to solve an algorithm with generated possible solutions. Ethereum is released at a rate of 5 per block mined.
Critics say that the currencies’ skyrocketing prices can be attributed to a bubble created by the hype to invest. Others see Bitcoin as a resource North Korea can use to make money and buy what it wants off the black market, due to the near impossible traceability it has. The lack of regulation creates a positive outlook in some, and negative in others. A portion of supporters sides with Nakamoto’s goal to eliminate reliance in a federal government after the 2008 housing crisis. While some opposition believes the very same thing to be negative. It is possible Bitcoin could be the way of the future, to globalize the world with universal currency. Despite predictions, only time will tell the fate of Bitcoin.