Our guide to Bitcoin explores the growing virtual currency, its history and financial stability.
For many years now government issued legal tender has shown mass decline. The state of the Euro is perpetually in crisis with many commentators predicting another crash, potentially before the years end. And let’s not even talk about the state of the Pound post Brexit, which has been at record lows ever since Theresa May triggered article 50. Special mentions must also go to Russia and China whose deal on fossil fuels meant they dropped the petrodollar, which threatens the American economy.
The state of the world’s financial situation has however led to a change in the understanding and utilisation of money. After the financial crash of the housing market in 2007-08, which bought the globe to its knees, Bitcoin emerged to give the financial sector a new lease of life. So what is Bitcoin? Well our guide to Bitcoin will explain it a little further for you.
Bitcoin is a decentralised currency created by a group of free market advocates and released into the world by Satoshi Nakamoto. Anybody can access the Bitcoin market; there is no government issuer, no corporate handler, and certainly no banking operating system in control. It is the world’s first person-to-person cryptocurrency.
Sounds good right? We all know the current financial system is corrupt. The global financial crash of 2007-08 saw banks bailed out and ordinary citizens left to suffer. Bitcoin is a remedy to this, as it can protect individuals from inflation and devaluation. Bitcoin transactions are anonymous, and its users enjoy a greater degree of freedom as these transactions are left uninterrupted by financial bodies. Purchases are not taxed due to the exclusion of third party’s and transaction fees are kept relatively low since there is no government involvement. Currently, millions of people are part of the network with the currency soon to expand, and when it does, no King, parliament, president, or banking cartel will be able to stop it. But are there any risks?
Some of the earliest investors of Bitcoin were criminals who have consistently used the online marketplace for deals in contraband. Ransomware is also on the rise with individual data and information being stolen. Those of whom affected by this are likely to have not backed up their devices. Those same individuals who value the data more than the ransom being asked for are more likely to pay, and through what currency are they paying? That’s right, Bitcoin. As of May 2017 a total of $25’000 dollars has been ransomed and there are fears that Bitcoin is opening avenues for a new kind of criminal wave. When the Silk Road, dubbed the eBay of criminal activity, was shut down $30 million dollars of Bitcoin was seized with Charlie Shrem, a Bitcoin millionaire, arrested for laundering at least $1 million dollars to Silk Road users. Bitcoin was also seen as the pivotal currency upholding the online drug market.
So what’s next for Bitcoin? I read about Bitcoin a few years ago when in its infancy, it was dubbed the next critical currency to develop our financial transactions. I thought nothing of it. But now I’ve read stories of people who invested very little into the currency, which is now worth millions. For some then, it has been an incredible investment. For others, it has been a costly error in judgement. However, every currency has its illegal users, Bitcoin is no different, so should we judge the currency so harshly? Its financial stability is still in question, and it’s value in today’s society still to be tested. But one thing is for sure; it has the banks, and world governments running scared. For me, I’m up for a little anarchy.