Bitcoin has been around since 2009 and although nobody can really put a face to the pseudonym used to refer to the creator[s] of Bitcoin, there is no doubt the person[s] responsible has forever shifted the course of history. Let’s dive back into basics and take a look at the development of Bitcoin, and how it has recalculated the future of our digital world.
Back to Basics:
To understand Bitcoin, it is first good to freshen up on the basics of money as a currency in general. Simply put, trading actual goods at some point wasn’t good enough and a different method had to be established. Traditional currency was developed centuries ago on an IOU (document acknowledging debt) basis and later, namely in western cultures, pegged to gold. In the USA for example, every dollar bill was backed by a certain amount of gold – later the gold standard was evicted and the value of the dollar became solely dependent on the “Full Faith and Credit of The United States” making it a fiat currency. This means the US federal government is reliant on the full faith and credit in them to pay people and institutions back. When printing money, inflation and excessive global debt are amongst the concerns on the table, and some are inclined to find a new repository of value that is not dependent on centralized governments or banks.
This is where Bitcoin takes center stage. Bitcoin’s value is measured by the adoption of the cryptocurrency – the belief that others are going to invest incentivizes others to invest, inevitably leading bitcoin to grow its inherent value. Instead of relying on a government’s ability to tax, stimulate, print, and remove money in or out of circulation, you can choose to rely on the idea that there is something of value trusted by enough people that can be used in the absence of a government.
One of the more common points of hostility that circulates around bitcoin is that it could lose popularity. This could lead to businesses and individuals deciding not to accept or spend bitcoin anymore and causing it to lose its value entirely – which however improbable, is still possible.
Taking Part in Bitcoin:
Bitcoin runs on a decentralized online ledger and it has a limited supply, meaning the creators can’t simply inflate or deflate its value by changing the supply, unlike fiat (government-issued currency not backed by a commodity or asset) currencies. Fiat currencies are influenced by monetary policy, which is established by a centralized organization, and then that value is passed to all of the citizens. Bitcoin, however, is precisely the opposite – instead of a centralized body creating and adjusting the policy, its rules are set in a code.
Consequently, the definition of value has changed drastically. Value is now coming from peers on the outside towards the currency as opposed to the value being decided by a government and distributed to the people. All of this is controlled by digital networks that validate transactions and store values known as blockchains. To learn more about the structure of a blockchain or how digital currency networks are being used, feel free to check out our other articles where we break down the ins and outs of crypto technology.
Whether you’ve been in the crypto game for a while or you’re only starting to familiarize yourself with it – cryptocurrencies seem to be an inescapable anomaly driving individuals to have more control over their own assets. New businesses and services offering ways to bring crypto to the mainstream are running rampant – from spending crypto on everyday goods to tokenizing assets, it’s quickly becoming the future of finance.
Through the power of digital technology and the beauty of a decentralized valuable ledger dependent on those who trust in it – it’s safe to say the reflective representation of Satoshi Nakamoto’s faceless bust is an ample reminder that “we are all Satoshi”.
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