What is Bitcoin?  

The Reigning King of Crypto 

History 

Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency and was conceived in it’s white paper over 12 years ago on October 31st 2008. 

Bitcoin truly came to life not long after, on January 3rd 2009 when the first block was mined, this was known as the genesis block. The genesis block also hinted at the failures of the conventional banking system, and included a headline from The Times which read ‘Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks’. 

The formation of Bitcoin also lead to the popularisation of the term blockchain. Blockchain is a peer to peer network that stores data across thousands of servers across the world. Data is stored in blocks in a chain, in Bitcoin’s case the data stored is of the sender, receiver and the amount of coins. The nature of blockchain means that the the individual blocks are very difficult to be tampered with and ensures security, transparency and decentralisation.  

What is Bitcoin Used For?

In very simple terms Bitcoin is a digital currency used for the purchase of goods and services.  

In its early days Bitcoin was primarily known for its use on the dark web and various illegal marketplaces including the Silk Road. Bitcoin was used on these sites as it was much harder to track, rather than traditional fiat currencies that are tied to a bank account which includes the account holders personal, identifiable information. 

Since then, Bitcoin has become increasingly legitimised by entering the main stream and being accepted at major vendors including the likes of Microsoft and Starbucks. 

In addition to its use as a digital currency, Bitcoin is being used as a major store of wealth with many wealthy investors insulating their money in Bitcoin in addition to the original safe haven, gold. 

Founders 

Bitcoin’s true founder, or the group of founders is still a complete mystery. This mystery person or group is known by the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. 

In the time since Bitcoin’s launch in 2009 many people have speculated and also tried to work out the true identity of the mysterious Nakamoto but even now in 2021, no one has been able to prove who this person is. 

Although Satoshi was credited as the inventor of Bitcoin over 750 developers have since contributed to its source code on GitHub, which has helped to make it the currency that it is today. 

Current Price & Circulation 

At the time or writing Bitcoin is $50,904 (8th March 2021), with a total market capitalisation of $949,280,097,510 and a maximum supply of 21,000,000 Bitcoins. 

Bitcoin’s all time high was $58,330 giving it a market cap of over $1,000,000,000 (1 trillion dollars)! 

Trivia 

  • The true identity of the Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto is still unknown. 
  • The first Bitcoin purchase was 10,000BTC in exchange for two pizzas back on May 22nd 2010. 
  • The supply of Bitcoin is always fixed at 21 million coins, this can never be changed (unlike fiat currencies that can be printed at will). 
  • Currently it is estimated that 20% of Bitcoin is currently lost or stuck in locked wallets. 
  • Bitcoin mining currently uses more electricity than Argentina (February 2021). 

Conclusion 

Bitcoin truly is the King of the cryptocurrency universe, both as it is the oldest and by far the most valuable, eclipsing it’s nearest rival Ethereum by over $700 billion in terms of market cap. 

We can’t see its title being taken by any of the altcoins any time soon; however platforms like Ethereum, Polkadot & Cardano have been gaining serious momentum for a while and could eventually take the crown. 

What are your thoughts on the future of Bitcoin, will it reign for the next 10 years or will the rapid expansion of the crypto universe cause it to give way to another up and coming cryptocurrency? 

If you are interested in buying Bitcoin head over to our best Bitcoin exchanges page to find out the best places to buy Bitcoin.