Bitcoin: What, Why, How To
Bitcoin is huge, and it seems everyone has invested in Bitcoin already. Judging by the USD 1 trillion capitalization you can safely bet on the idea that by now, big corporations, banks, billionaires, and even governments are in on it already. Really, who can afford to buy $50-60 billion worth of Bitcoin daily, yes, daily, that's how much of it is bought and sold each day worldwide.
Bitcoin (BTC) is the first cryptocurrency, and the next step in the evolution of money. Essentially, it's a string of code with a transaction record stored on a decentralized network of computers. We went from trading shells and beads, to silver and gold, and later more conveniently paper money (fiat currency). Cryptocurrency to paper money is what paper money was to shells. If you get one thing from reading this article today, please realize that cryptocurrency is here to stay. Bitcoin is here to stay. For how long? For as long as we're willing to trade, invest, and use the Internet.
A little bit of history will help you get a feeling of what cryptocurrency is and where it's heading. Bitcoin is over 10 years old. In February 2011 one Bitcoin went for $1.00. In February 2021 it was $45.000. Bitcoin had quadrupled (from $7K to $30K) in one year in 2020 and went up over 80% in the first few months of 2021. This is an astounding 45000% growth, while a little-known Aave AAVE had shown a double of that with 90000% in just one year!
Companies like Tesla are heavily invested and already benefiting from their Bitcoin investments. In February 2021 Tesla reportedly invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, made a profit of over $100 million, and holds roughly $2.5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency as of the end of April 2021. Recently, JP Morgan, Visa, and Citi announced plans to move into crypto in a big way.
The idea of cryptocurrency naturally aligns itself well with the Universal idea of value and energy exchange. A Bitcoin transaction is akin to Einstein's famous "spooky action at a distance" where it simultaneously appears recorded everywhere no matter how far the transacting parties are. Do you really think that when we build colonies on other planets we'll be ferrying back and forth spaceships of cash and gold to conduct commerce? No, it will be all crypto of course, what else!
The reality is that by now Bitcoin became de facto digital gold meant to hold money, and hedge against inflation. It can, and will go up, as well as down with the ebb and flow of the world's economy and the supply of money. Just like gold, Bitcoin is quite scarce, its supply is limited to a finite amount. But unlike actual gold, a cryptocurrency needs no physical storage, and the expense for transport and security is close to non-existent. The price of Bitcoin is determined solely by its users, and the money they put into it.
From an investment perspective Bitcoin is as safe (or not safe) as almost any other investment. It may gain and lose, just like any fiat currency and the stock market. From a practical and technical perspective Bitcoin is as safe as your ability to protect your account's digital wallet password. Also, when you make a transaction it's final, there's no way to cancel or reverse it, no arbitration or customer service to help. The system is decentralized so no one is there to control it, it's controlled by algorithms. Can you imagine losing a password to all your crypto accounts, or hitting a wrong button and sending a million dollars worth of Bitcoin to a wrong address? There should be some better protection and foolproofing against such user mistakes.
Cryptocurrency Pros: It's universal, borderless, instant. Cons: It's volatile, transactions are irreversible, final.
Bitcoin has become a subject of a few controversies. One of the problems with Bitcoin is its abnormal energy use, and subsequently its carbon footprint and connection to global warming. While its energy use is a legitimate concern, it has to be taken into account that cryptocurrency by virtue of being paperless, when in use, will save countless resources, like trees, bank office rental space and personnel, as well as all the energy required to produce, store, secure and transport the fiat currency. Additionally, we have to consider that energy production is heading towards clean, renewable, eco-friendly sources, and with time using cryptocurrencies will become less energy-dependent.
One of the perceived threats to Bitcoin is seen as coming from the government. While the concerns are legitimate and nobody knows what the government is going to do regarding Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the fears seem to be unfounded. The government will find ways to benefit from the trade by taxing the profits of the participants. The government knows who transacting what, and can arrest and shut down individual crypto wallets. The fact that starting 2020 the IRS included crypto income in the tax filing forms speaks of broader acceptance and green-lights the crypto investment activities for everyone.
The conclusion is that it makes sense and is wise to start to consider investing in cryptocurrency. Do your research and realize the opportunities it presents. It's just a beginning and crypto is doing baby steps, albeit giant steps; watch it grow and blow your mind like it already did.
Bitcoin became very easy to buy and sell recently. Now everybody can invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with reputable companies like PayPal and Coinbase (use the link to sign up now and get $10 worth of Bitcoin free), or Bittrex.
Have questions, comments, or need help with starting with cryptocurrency and Bitcoin? Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
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