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The History of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency
If you’re an avid internet user, you will surely have seen articles being posted online about Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency. And, if you’re in Canada, those reports will more than likely include information about the substantial growth in cashless purchases the country has seen. The truth is, cryptocurrency and Bitcoin might seem scary, but it’s inevitably going to become more commonplace as time goes by. That fear of the unknown will soon fade, only to be replaced by indifference. It will almost seem like this decentralized monetary system was always here.
There are plenty of people saying that the “fad” won’t last. The BTC to CDN rate, while it’s currently sitting at 12,744.66 Canadian Dollars, is being seen as a bubble. “Experts” are putting their money on the bubble bursting, but weren’t those same people saying the same things about color televisions and Boeing 747s? They said it wasn’t possible, no one would use them, and they couldn’t have been more wrong. So, while the value of Bitcoin is volatile, it doesn’t make it any less real or sought after. The BTC to CAD rate is undoubtedly only going to rise, and those nay-sayers will be sitting with bated breath to see whether they were wrong or right.
After all that, you might still wonder what Bitcoin is. How can you get your hands on some of these Bitcoins? And where did it all begin? We aim to use this article to give you a little history lesson on not only Bitcoin but the 1000+ other forms of cryptocurrency on the market.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is every bank’s worst nightmare. It’s a worldwide payment system which is known as the first decentralized digital currency. It runs without a central repository, an administrator, or even a banker that dictates its pricing and value. Instead, it’s run by you: the people. It’s a peer-to-peer system with transactions taking place between users directly. No big man is calling the shots; there’s merely an online system with liquidity determined by those buying, selling and trading. Every single transaction, which is verified by network nodes, is recorded in public ledgers. These are known as blockchains, and you’ll hear that word a lot in the cryptocurrency world.
What is a blockchain?
A blockchain is a public ledger used to record bitcoin transactions. It’s run by a network of communicating nodes programmed to run bitcoin software and is free of central authorities. What you see on blockchain is a transaction and how it took place. For example, if you sent bitcoins to someone else, it would share this information on the network. This very same system is used to validate transactions. The blockchain, in essence, is a distributed database.
Each network node stores its own copy of the blockchain containing transaction data, and every hour a new group of transactions is added. This is known as a block. This system exists to ensure bitcoin software knows when a bitcoin has been spent and avoids double-spending. In a centralized financial system, double-spending couldn’t happen, but cryptocurrency works a little differently.
What is Cryptocurrency?
Bitcoin, of course, was the first form of cryptocurrency to hit the internet, but it indeed wasn’t the last, nor was it the first people spoke about it. Almost 10 years before its release, Wei Dai published a description of what they called “B-Money.” They spoke of an electronic, anonymous cash system, and that’s precisely what Bitcoin came to be. Bitcoin has the highest value, and it is the most trusted, but there are others that are slowly becoming more popular. As of September 2017, there are over 1,000 different cryptocurrencies found online. Most are derived from Bitcoin, and the goal is to gradually decrease the production of cryptocurrency, putting a cap on the amount in circulation, for it to keep its value.
One of the most important things to know about cryptocurrencies is that they aren’t like ordinary money. Sure, they can be spent and used as money would be, but they are different in the respect that they aren’t held by financial institutions, and aren’t kept as cash on hand. This means law enforcement find it challenging to seize them or track their use. Essentially, cryptocurrency is giving you that anonymity the creators initially set out to achieve.
If you’ve decided that cryptocurrency is something you’d like to look at investing in now or in the future, there’s no time like the present to get the ball rolling. Create your cryptocurrency wallet, head to a secure Canadian platform such as CoinSquare, and begin buying, selling and trading. There are options aplenty.
Buy your slice of the Bitcoin pie, or why not opt to purchase Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum or other similar cryptocurrencies that are finding their place in the market? No one knows what the future holds for Bitcoin, but there’s one thing for sure: you don’t want to falter, believe it’s all a fad, only to lose your opportunity to make millions. A little now counts for a lot later, and you could find yourself playing the long game for a financially lucrative future.