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  • Pascal Hügli

What is Bitcoin?



What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer financial network with its own asset that was created by the decentralized internet protocol known as Bitcoin. Lowercase “b” stands for the monetary asset, whereas uppercase “b” is for the protocol, software, and network.


How does Bitcoin work?

Bitcoin works in a way that it is exchanged directly between senders and receivers, without the use of financial middlemen. No centralized party issues Bitcoin. Rather, the cryptocurrency is given rise through a technology called blockchain, a distributed ledger that records any Bitcoin transaction transparently.


Who owns Bitcoin?

Nobody owns Bitcoin and its network, but anyone may use it, just like no one owns the email protocol that is accessible to anyone.


How many Bitcoins are there? ​

There are currently more than 19 million Bitcoin on the market. The protocol itself has a clause stating that there will never be more than 21 million bitcoin in total.


What is Bitcoin Mining?

Bitcoin mining is the process of issuing new bitcoin. There must be a creation and distribution of this 21 million bitcoin fixed supply. Thus, bitcoin are mined into existing and distributed to mining parties. To validate transactions that will be added to the blockchain after being confirmed, millions of computers compete to solve cryptographic puzzles.


Bitcoin Price History

When the cryptocurrency was originally introduced at the start of 2009, when Satoshi Nakamoto mined the bitcoin genesis block, 50 BTC were available to buy for $0.00. The price of BTC first matched that of the US dollar in February 2011. The price of bitcoin grew steadily until it reached a high of nearly $30. In early 2013, bitcoin bounced back from a protracted negative trend and briefly surpassed $1,000. The price of bitcoin shot up sharply throughout 2017 until it reached its 2017 bull run high of $19,850. In 2018, the whole cryptocurrency market fell into “crypto winter,” which lasted an entire year. In December 2020 bitcoin broke that former record again and climbed another 239% over the next 119 days to a new all-time high of $64,799. As history has shown so far, the price of bitcoin is notorious for being extremely unpredictable.


What is Bitcoin’s value?

Bitcoin’s value – or rather its raison d'être – may be equivalent to that of precious metals. Both have specific uses and are limited in supply. As such, bitcoin is nowadays considered to be a store of value, while some even use it as a currency – especially across jurisdictions and borders.


Is it easy to buy Bitcoin?

Yes, it's really simple to buy bitcoin. A credit card and a smartphone are all you need. You may install well-known applications like Coinbase, Kraken, Binance, or Bitstamp, create an account, and buy bitcoin with your credit card. You can sign up with these crypto exchanges, which are among the most liquid places to buy bitcoin. Furthermore, there are platforms like Mt. Pelerin, Relai, honesto, or Pocket in Switzerland where you can conveniently buy Bitcoin on.


Should I buy Bitcoin?

Whether you should buy bitcoin is a personal decision. If you decide to buy bitcoin, you can use it as a savings vehicle. For example, if you want to keep the money for a long time and don't need it for your everyday expenses or other investments, you may invest in bitcoin.


When is the best time to buy Bitcoin?

Foremost, before buying bitcoin, you should ask yourself how well you understand bitcoin and how it works, and if you believe in the promises it holds. Should you see no value in bitcoin, you are advised not to buy it. However, if you do see its benefits and see the technology's transformative potential, the ideal time to invest is always right now.


Where to buy Bitcoin?

You can buy bitcoin with Fintech businesses like Robinhood or Revolut. They make it simple for new buyers to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Crypto exchanges are among the least expensive places to purchase bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, Bitfinex, Huobi Global, KuCoin, Bistamp, and a few other companies are among them. These are the ones that are most often used since they have the most liquidity, which enables them to provide competitive pricing. Other interesting channels to both buy and sell are LocalBitcoins, Paxful, and Bisq.


Who owns the most Bitcoin?

Satoshi Nakamoto owns the most Bitcoin. From January 3, 2009, until his departure from the project in 2011, he mined almost 22,000 blocks, earning 1.1 million BTC in return. This sum is worth more than $21 billion as of October 12, 2022.


What are the challenges with Bitcoin?

The challenges with Bitcoin boil down to scalability, energy consumption, and criminal usage. Bitcoin has yet to prove it can reliably scale and become a performant network in order to facilitate fast and secure online payments. Also, Bitcoin's energy consumption remains a challenge, and it remains to be seen whether Bitcoin can have a positive effect by helping renewable energy sources stabilize by being a reliable energy buyer of last resort. When it comes to criminal activity done in Bitcoin, industry participants are also developing tools to help mitigate this.


What are the risks of investing in Bitcoin?

There are several risks when investing in Bitcoin. For one, there is a regulatory risk, as some countries have yet to figure out how they want to classify the cryptocurrency. There is also the security risk. Investing in Bitcoin means buying it from a vendor, which could pose a security risk. Also, holding Bitcoin in your own personal wallet can be a risk because as a holder you have to keep your own private keys. Furthermore, there is a fraud risk with Bitcoin, as scammers are also part of this industry.


 

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