Bitcoin Phenomenon: A Bright Future or a Growing Bubble?

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Happy Mother's Day, everyone. "Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible" ~ Marion C. Garretty 

Wishing you some peace and serenity this coming week. As you must have noticed, I've been MIA (Missing In Action) for a while and that's because I've been busy with my team finishing another project we took on. Exciting things are happening! Want to know more? Subscribe for future updates

Now... Let's talk Bitcoin! Have you heard about it? Yes? No? Ok. 

Bitcoin Phenomenon: A Bright Future or a Growing Bubble?

The idea of Bitcoin was introduced by it's founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, the face behind the world's most successful digital currency, with transactions of nearly $500 million a day at its peak. The Bitcoin system is not controlled by any organizations and it's concept is hard to know. 

Bitcoin Phenomenon: A Bright Future or a Growing Bubble?

Satoshi launched a peer-to-peer payments system (kind of like BitTorrent) in 2009 with the goal that it would deliver a borderless digital cash without the supervision of any government, and no central info would follow the transactions. Bitcoin, a substitute currency that does not exist physically, has become the talk of the economic world as people lose faith within the monetary unit and other different traditional currencies (Euro, etc.). The digital currency created and utilized in the system is also known as virtual currency, electronic cash, or a crypto currency, as cryptography is employed to regulate it's creation and transfer. Bloomberg Businessweek calls it the "anarchist crypto-currency".

The strained rise-and-fall of Bitcoin has multitudinous stories explaining why the net virtual currency could also be a classic bubble. But the Bitcoin development is over a bubble, and it has risen to such high numbers, because it's an uncomfortable combination of commodity and currency. The commodity value of bitcoins is rooted in their currency value, but the more of a commodity they become, the less useful they are as a currency. Bitcoins have skyrocketed in value: back in 2010, one Bitcoin was worth four cents. In line with Mark T. Williams (Boston University, School of Management), Bitcoin is over seven times as volatile as gold and over eight times as volatile as the S&P 5 hundred.

One factor is enough to destroy the future of the worldwide economy. You’ll be ready to create the coin by "mining" it online. It takes somewhat advanced algorithmic computations on your system to do it, so the overall public is not obtaining yet any Bitcoins. 

Bitcoin Phenomenon: A Bright Future or a Growing Bubble?

You can pay with Bitcoins on sites like Pizza For Coins, which might take your Bitcoin payment, and place your order with Domino's Pizza (DPZ +0.10%). Bitcoin uses public-key cryptography, during which a public and a private cryptography secret is generated. Risk of stealing could be reduced by generating keys offline on associated uncompromised systems and saving them on external storage devices or paper printouts. 

Growth of Bitcoin funds is predefined by the Bitcoin protocol, and through this approach, inflation is restrained. Presently, there is a unit of over twelve million Bitcoins in circulation with an approximate creation rate of 25 Bitcoins every 10 minutes. The entire offer is capped at the arbitrary limit of 21,000,000, and in every four years the creation rate is halved. This means new Bitcoins will still be free for over one hundred years.

Bitcoins may be bought and sold out from individuals and companies for many totally different currencies. The fastest way to get Bitcoins is a local face-to-face cash transaction and wallet-to-wallet. Some investors, like Peter Thiel (Founders Fund) who invested US$3 million, did not purchase any Bitcoins but instead funded Bitcoin infrastructure, like Bitcoin exchanges, companies that supply Bitcoin payment systems to merchants, etc. Some other investors, in addition, invest in Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin ATMs allow Bitcoins to be purchased for cash, and they allow cash withdrawals from Bitcoin wallets on phones. 

Bitcoin Phenomenon: A Bright Future or a Growing Bubble?

Bitcoin payment fees as a unit of measurement are typically not up to those of credit cards or cash transfers. They are a hedge against almost all currencies. "The bitcoin bubble is about to wipe out some very gullible nerds" as tweeted by CNBC's John Carney. Another Twitter user delineates Bitcoins as 21st-century "tulip bulbs". Bitcoin detractors and supporters have urged that Bitcoin is gaining quality in countries with problem-plagued national currencies, as an effect of it that ought to be utilized to dodge expansion, capital controls, and global approvals. As an example, Bitcoins are used by some Argentineans’ as an alternate currency to be utilized to evade swelling, capital controls, and universal authorizations. 

Francois R. Velde, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve in Chicago, represented it as "an elegant implementation”. Economists Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman have found fault in Bitcoin, asking about why Bitcoins need to be a reasonably stable store of value or whether or not there is a floor on their price. Social scientist John Quiggin has criticized Bitcoin as the final refutation of the economical market hypothesis.

Bitcoins become connected with online criminal behavior and questionable cyber-criminals. Used to amend online transactions, Bitcoins are appropriated once dark web black markets are shut down by authorities. This association with criminal activities has stigmatized the currency and attracted the attention of financial regulators, legislative bodies, and enforcement agencies. Criminal activity involving Bitcoin has foremost been targeted on stealing the currency, concealment, the use of bonnets for mining, and conjointly the utilization of Bitcoins in exchange for ill-gotten things or services.

Bitcoin Phenomenon: A Bright Future or a Growing Bubble?

In Oct. 2013 the FBI (the primary law enforcement agency of United States Department of Justice) closed down the black market (for illegal drugs) and seized 144,000 Bitcoins, worth close to $28.5 million at currency exchange rates. Also in December a McAfee survey found that a ten-fold surge in the last quarter in the number of cyber attacks - significantly ransom-ware wherever data cannot be accessed until a payment is received - had been driven by rise of Bitcoin usage.

It seems clear that there are places where Bitcoin has the potential to cause some serious problems to the financial industry. I wonder if it will ever receive a critical mass of support from vendors/investors to reach the circulation levels of the world's major currencies. Although it is rough for Bitcoin right now as regulators are not sure what to do with it, i still believe it's here to stay (unless you turn off the Internet).

Update As Of 16th of June, 2017 

The most recent update on Bitcoin fortune's, comes only a day ago. It seems that the news is not all good as following an all-time highs over the past week, Bitcoin - alongside Ethereum - saw a dramatic fall of 25% on Thursday, leaving investors and blockchain enthusiasts puzzled. According to Coinbase, a major cryptocurrency exchange, Bitcoin price fell as low as $2079. This is quite a noticable drop, almost 30% compared to the record high $3,000 milestone reported last weekend. Since the steep slide, the renown digital currency stormed back, experiencing a rise, currently trading up at around $2500-$2540. Investors do feel the heat and are called upon to make important decisions as to whether they need to sell or buy. Still, it remains to be seen what the future holds as economists and financial experts hold contradicted views on the matter.

(Disclaimer: All information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be relied on for making any investment decisions.)

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*by andreascy*