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Interesting facts you should know about Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency gold of 21st century

Bitcoin or Gold? The trends suggests bitcoin price is increasing multiple fold per day compared to slow price of gold surge in a year. Read more to know interesting facts about the most valuable cryptocurrency, Bitcoin

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Bitcoin Price, Cryptocurrency surge
Bitcoin, the gold of cryptocurrency (VOA)
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If you would have invested in cryptocurrency Bitcoin worth 100 $ in 2010, you would be sitting at a total of Bitcoin price of 80000000 $ right now

  • Bitcoin market cap today is $172,565,842,974 USD, more than IBM and Walt Disney
  • The cryptocurrency market cap has breached $300 billion
Bitcoin: What is it, where can you use it? 

Bitcoin is a digital currency created in 2009 by a mysterious figure using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. It can be used to buy or sell items from people and companies that accept bitcoin as payment, but it is not the traditional form of currency, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency, as the name suggests, are currencies generated by computer codes, thus it has no issuing agency (like Reserve Bank of India). Any cryptocurrency is generated by ‘miners’ on a cryptocurrency network like bitcoin that solves complex mathematical problems. The network is peer to peer and transactions take place between users directly through the use of cryptography, without an intermediary.

“The system can act as a payment network that has no down time, it’s operating 24/7, it doesn’t care where and to whom you send money,” says Michael Rauchs, a cryptocurrency and blockchain expert at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge.

Bitcoin price, Bitcoin investment
Cryptocurrency Bitcoin, the growing market (VOA)

Why is bitcoin’s price surging insanely?

Like any other assets or currencies, bitcoin price is determined by the amount that people are willing to pay for it. The bitcoin price, surged above $10,000 on Wednesday for the first time, breaking a symbolic threshold in what has been a vertiginous ascent this year. The increasing demand pressure from investors and speculators makes the case for an even further increase in bitcoin prices in the near future. Bitcoin is decentralized and limited which makes it rare. This is a major factor for many Bitcoin users. Bitcoin is hard for government to trace and tax. The Bitcoin price surged insanely after demonetisation in India. Also, unlike fiat money produced by central banks, there is a cap set on total Bitcoin, limiting how much the currency can devalue through inflation.

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On 22nd May 2010, Laszlo Hanyec bought a pizza for 10,000 bitcoins. The Bitcoin pizza is worth $105,830,950 today.

Will Bitcoin ever be a safe investment or always a gamble?

Despite RBI warning, 2,500 Indians investing in cryptocurrency Bitcoin daily. The lack of clarity about its origin is another big issue related to bitcoin. Investment in cryptocurrency is always a subject to risk, you should invest only what you are comfortable to lose. While some investors may be attracted by the massive rises this year, others will be wary of the volatility. In mid-January one bitcoin price was valued at $800. By June Bitcoin price had gone to $3,000. At the end of November it touched $10,000. If you are an experienced investor with a balanced portfolio and relatively small exposure, then BTC is an exciting and potentially lucrative investment. But there is potential for significant losses and investors need to carefully consider the method of investing.

“The general sensible view is that the more volatile the investment, the smaller proportion of your wealth you should consider storing in it,” says Marc Warne, founder of bitcoin exchange Bittylicious. I have heard of people moving their life investments into bitcoin and this is a bad idea.

Bitcoin’s current value and price is based on the belief that it will continue to grow as the main cryptocurrency in the world, but it only accounts for just over half of the crypto market capitalization, new currencies are being developed, launched and spent everyday. The competitor coin Ethereum, for example, launched in September 2015 and is now worth $440 per coin.

If you can stomach volatile kind of risk, you can handle trading in this market. After all Bitcoin Pizza is worth $105,830,950 today.

 

– by SHAURYA RITWIK, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik

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Status of Bitcoin in India

The government has recently cautioned investors to be wary of virtual currencies like bitcoin, saying they are like Ponzi schemes with no legal tender and protection.

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India has not legitimized bitcoin, hence investment returns are totally based on demand i.e. you get your return only if there is another buyer in the market who is ready to pay you more for it. Currently the high-value of the digital currency owes to its high demand, but once people start selling, there is a possibility that rates will drastically fall. Pixabay
India has not legitimized bitcoin, hence investment returns are totally based on demand i.e. you get your return only if there is another buyer in the market who is ready to pay you more for it. Currently the high-value of the digital currency owes to its high demand, but once people start selling, there is a possibility that rates will drastically fall. Pixabay

Bitcoin is the most famous cryptocurrency, rising 19-folds in value, it has attracted many retail investors from around the world. However, cryptocurrencies are yet not a legal tender in India and Bitcoin is disapproved as a legal currency.

Government’s take

Finance minister Arun Jaitley highlighted in a statement that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender and have no regulatory permission or protection in the country. However, there was no announcement banning or imposing any curbs on the same.

The government panel is also awaiting a report on tackling cryptocurrencies in India, Jaitley said.

The government has recently cautioned investors to be wary of virtual currencies like bitcoin, saying they are like Ponzi schemes with no legal tender and protection.

There is no bank or government tax agency that can track your money and its movement. Hence, it can become a tool for money laundering. Pixabay
There is no bank or government tax agency that can track your money and its movement. Hence, it can become a tool for money laundering. Pixabay

No mechanism to prevent misuse

There is no mechanism to prevent the misuse of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin by terror groups and other anti-national elements.
“One of the features of cryptocurrency is that there is lack of dependence on the state. It functions with a degree of anonymity. It operates within a virtual community which is created and enjoys the trust of that virtual community,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the Rajya Sabha.
“The government is examining the matter. A Committee under the chairmanship of the Economic Affairs Department Secretary is deliberating over all issues related to cryptocurrencies to propose specific actions to be taken… Instead of taking any knee-jerk action, let’s wait for the report of this committee.” Jaitley added
There is no insurance protection of your bitcoin wallet i.e. if you lose your wallet’s hard drive data or even your password, your wallet’s content is gone forever. Pixabay
There is no insurance protection of your bitcoin wallet i.e. if you lose your wallet’s hard drive data or even your password, your wallet’s content is gone forever. Pixabay

Some basics on Bitcoin

  • Bitcoin is the first ever cryptocurrency that existed, it was invented in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto.
  • Cryptocurrencies are nothing but computer codes that have monetary value. No Government has any control over them.
  • Bitcoins ‘self-contain’ their value i.e. there’s no need for any bank to move or store the money.
  • Bitcoin currency is completely unregulated and decentralized.
  • Bitcoins are mined, and they can be mined by anyone in the general public who has a strong computer. However, only 21 billion of bitcoins in total can be mined. Currently, there are around 11 million in circulation.
  • Bitcoin has no underlying physical monetary base to support its value, and it is totally subject to its demand in the market.