Today marks Bitcoin logo day, commemorating the groundbreaking changes Satoshi Nakamoto brought to the world through creating crypto. Since its introduction in 2009, bitcoin has changed how we think about money and financial transactions.
What is bitcoin and crypto
Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency that can be used to purchase goods and services online or to send money to anyone, anywhere in the world. Unlike traditional currencies, bitcoin is not controlled by any government or financial institution. The coin was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.
Cryptocurrencies are alike to bitcoin and use a technology called blockchain, which is a decentralized ledger that records all transactions made using the currency. This means that every bitcoin transaction is recorded and verified by multiple users, making the network highly secure and resistant to fraud.
Despite its volatility, many investors see bitcoin as a valuable asset, and some companies and countries have begun accepting it as a form of payment. In addition to bitcoin, there are now thousands of other cryptocurrencies available, like ethereum (ETH), dogecoin, litecoin, and others, each with unique features and potential uses.
Major events that have happened since bitcoin went live
Bitcoin has had a volatile history, with its value skyrocketing in 2017 before crashing in early 2018. However, since then, it has gradually increased in value again. As of Feb. 24, 2023, 1 BTC is worth over $23,260, down from its all-time high of $67,000 achieved in 2021.
Since its launch by the mysterious anonymous called Satoshi Nakamoto on Jan. 3, 2009, bitcoin has made waves in the financial world, attracting praise and criticism. Bitcoin has hit significant events that have seen it rise and fall but sustain the bull trend.
- Bitcoin first became available for trading on online exchanges in 2010. In April 2011, the cryptocurrency reached a significant milestone when its price crossed the $1 threshold for the first time. In the same year, litecoin was launched, marking the start of bitcoin’s competition in the crypto space. Ethereum followed suit and went live in 2015.
- Bitcoin gained more visibility and popularity but also became increasingly volatile. By November 2013, the price of bitcoin had reached $1,000. However, it wasn’t until late 2017 that bitcoin’s price and trading volumes started to surge, hitting $10,000 per coin for the first time in November 2017 and reaching a peak of about $20,000 in December 2017.
- The launch of bitcoin futures contracts by a regulated US financial institution in December 2017 signaled mainstream acceptance. It led to a period of hype and excitement in the cryptocurrency market, which resulted in an asset bubble and many fraudulent ICOs.Between 2017 and 2018, over 800 ICOs raised around $20 billion in funding. Unfortunately, the ICO space was rife with fraud and scams, and the value of many of these tokens collapsed within a year.
- The end of 2018 saw the crypto bubble burst, significantly crashing bitcoin prices. The value of bitcoin fell to less than $4,000 per coin, marking a significant decline from its all-time high of nearly $20,000 just a year earlier.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2020, extended shutdowns and government stimulus payments left many younger Americans with extra disposable income and time on their hands, fueling a surge in Bitcoin prices.
- The launch of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF in October 2021 marked the first Bitcoin ETF to trade on a major US exchange, followed by several other cryptocurrency futures ETF launches, such as BTF, XBTF, and BITS.
How bitcoin has changed the financial landscape
In recent years, the world of finance has seen the emergence of a new type of currency – cryptocurrency. Among these, bitcoin is one of the most well-known and widely used digital currencies. Bitcoin’s transformative impact on the financial landscape persists despite being widely misunderstood due to various factors.
- Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer payment system has provided a faster and cheaper alternative to traditional international monetary transactions, disrupting the financial landscape. Meanwhile, the blockchain technology that underlies bitcoin has proven to be a versatile and valuable tool that can be applied in various industries beyond finance, such as supply chain management, business, luxury goods, and art.
- The decentralized, immutable, transparent, and secure features of blockchain technology have made it appealing to businesses looking to enhance efficiency, transparency, and security, leading to widespread implementation across various industries.
- Cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, have been wrongly associated with illicit activities despite being pseudonymous, and while regulatory bodies aim to prevent illegal use, some governments have unjustly banned cryptocurrencies due to their perceived association with criminal activity and fraudulent schemes. China’s authoritarian government has consistently expressed its desire to ban bitcoin, exemplifying some states’ unjustified prohibition of cryptocurrencies.
- Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are gaining traction worldwide as digital versions of local currency. At the same time, despite regulatory pressure, large institutions have embraced bitcoin, leading to the cryptocurrency’s epic bull run in 2020/2021, with companies like MicroStrategy holding massive BTC reserves worth billions of dollars, inspiring other retail and institutional investors to follow suit.
What’s next for bitcoin
Bitcoin has emerged as a popular investment vehicle due to its high value, reaching an all-time high of over $67,000 per coin in 2021. Although its price can be volatile, many investors view bitcoin as a hedge against inflation and a possible store of value.
While the future of cryptocurrency remains uncertain, it is clear that it has already had a significant impact on the world of finance, and its influence is likely to continue to grow in the years to come. Keep watching crypto.news for updates on bitcoin, macro-finance and other crypto-related developments.
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