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Bitcoin – the latest currency
Authored by: Sean  

Down the ages, all over the world, there have been plenty of things that have been traded as currency. Paper, livestock, shares and stocks, plastic and perhaps even goodwill have all played their role as “currency” everywhere.

Image – https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Olaus_Magnus_-_On_Trade_Without_Using_Money.jpg

 

There is no doubt that the history of money continues to evolve even today. Perhaps the biggest role being played today is by the electronic medium and the Internet. Countries such as Kenya are using mobile phones with great success when it comes to payments of various kinds.

 

Also in the recent news is something known as Bitcoin. It is characterized by a few important things such as

      1. It is electronic money and is a payment network
      2. It is open source and uses digitally signed messages as payment modes
      3. Bitcoin relies on cryptography to prevent fraudulent practices and
      4. It seems to be growing in popularity.

 

Image – https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Olaus_Magnus_-_On_Trade_Without_Using_Money.jpg

 

So what is Bitcoin? As mentioned before, it is an electronic currency and a payment method which does away with structures such as banks. Almost anybody can use Bitcoin to pay for various kinds of online transactions. It has been in popular use since the year 2009 and has shown a pretty rapid rate of appreciation when compared against leading currencies such as the $, € & £.

 

It needs a virtual wallet for storage and the protection of this wallet is conducted by various levels of cyber security. It allows its users to make payments on mobile devices as well and all it needs is a QR code. It is designed to support global transactions as well.

 

Who believes in Bitcoin? Despite fears of hacking and the lack of intrinsic value, Bitcoin seems to have found some important takers and acceptance from quite a lot of people. Some of the big names associated with this currency are Peter Thiel and the Winklevoss Twins.

 

 

Thiel is a venture capitalist who also is the co-founder of PayPal. The Winklevoss twins are best known as the founders of ConnectU. Thiel and the Winklevosses have invested $3 million and $ 1.5 million respectively. There is also Richard Branson who has thrown his considerable weight behind Bitcoin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video - https://youtu.be/JWJx6AYTBRM

 

 

There is plenty of mathematical sophistication and complex calculations involved in the creation of or mining of Bitcoin. What the future holds is the promise of a currency that is likely to help out countries with unstable currencies and perhaps even deliver all the value of a trusted utility. Bitcoin may also stabilize in all its functioning with market forces that will come into play.

 

Proof of its growing popularity is the fact that there are plenty of online retailers who offered massive discounts for people who pay with Bitcoin on Black Friday. GSM Nation, GOOD Magazine and Reddit are just some of these names.

 

Considering the fact that the value of all the Bitcoin in circulation at the end of August this year was $1.5 billion and as of November this year the value of a Bitcoin was above $1000, perhaps this is one currency that is well worth keeping an eye on. And we can all say that we played a part in its history!

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