Bitcoin has been making headlines for years now. With its growing popularity, it seems like everyone and their mother are talking about this cryptocurrency that can be used to buy anything from a cup of coffee to an island in Bali. But why? What makes bitcoins so interesting, valuable or even useful? Here’s what you need to know about Bitcoin‘s future outlook.
So how did bitcoin get started? The story begins around 2009 when anonymous developer(s) first released “The Genesis Block” which gave birth to all things digital money. This was followed by several more blocks of data called ‘transactions’ which helped users track transactions on the network. Nowadays, there are over 18 million active bitcoin wallets worldwide with millions of dollars worth of bitcoin being traded every day, which bodes well for Bitcoin’s future outlook.
But what does it mean to own some Bitcoin? How do I use it? And most importantly – Why should I care? These questions have puzzled many people who aren’t sure if they want to dip their toes into the crypto-pool yet. If you’re one of those curious souls looking to find out everything you could possibly learn about cryptocurrencies, then read on! Let me help guide you through what may seem like an extremely complicated topic to understand.
Why Bitcoin is the Future
Let’s start off by explaining exactly what bitcoin is. It’s important to note that bitcoin isn’t just another form of fiat currency such as US Dollars, Euros or Pesos. In fact, bitcoin doesn’t really fit any current classification because it combines elements of both traditional currencies and commodities (gold). So here we go…
Bitcoin is actually considered an asset since anyone can create them at will. However, unlike gold, these coins don’t have intrinsic value but rather rely upon demand to determine whether or not someone is willing to pay their price. Furthermore, each coin is limited to 21 billion units ever created. After that limit is reached, no new bitcoins will be produced until 2024 when roughly half of the total amount will be minted. Therefore, bitcoins continue to grow in value without having much real backing behind it.
Bitcoin’s Future Outlook
Now that we’ve got the basics down, let’s talk about where bitcoin stands today. Right now, bitcoin is listed as the 5th largest market cap globally ($7 trillion USD), right after Apple, Google/Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook. On top of that, it’s currently ranked #1 amongst global payment systems and holds a $3 billion USD lead over Visa. Moreover, bitcoin has recently surpassed PayPal to become THE number 1 online payments platform globally.
However, while bitcoin continues to gain momentum, keep in mind that it’s still very early days. Most experts agree that bitcoin won’t hit mainstream adoption until 2020 at best. As of 2019, only 2% of American adults were familiar with bitcoin according to polling company SurveyMonkey. Even though it might appear that bitcoins are everywhere, you’ll rarely see a physical ATM dispensing them anymore. Instead, you’d usually receive your free bitcoin via email or QR code.
What makes bitcoin different from other forms of currency? Well, it’s decentralized. Unlike banks or governments, bitcoin operates independently from government regulations. Because of this, it allows investors to make investments overseas without worrying about capital controls, bank bailouts, etc. Additionally, bitcoin is also transparent and traceable. Every transaction made using bitcoin leaves a public ledger known as blockchain. This means that anybody can look up the history of a particular bitcoin wallet address and verify how much bitcoin is owned by whomever owns it.
Finally, bitcoin is open source meaning anyone can download software tools needed to mine bitcoins. For example, if you live in China and would like to earn some extra cash, you can run specialized mining rigs 24 hours per day to generate additional revenue streams.
Why is Bitcoin a Future Asset
One last question remains before we wrap up our discussion. “How come bitcoin became popular?” First off, it wasn’t always the case that bitcoin was the preferred mode of exchange. Before 2014, bitcoins were mostly traded back and forth between individuals due to high fees associated with international wire transfers. Secondly, it took nearly 10 minutes for bitcoins to clear once sent across borders. Lastly, bitcoin had difficulty scaling past block sizes beyond 4MB.
With that said, Bitcoin finally underwent a major upgrade starting in mid 2017 which brought changes like increased efficiency, lower costs, faster confirmation times and larger maximum block sizes. This allowed bitcoin to support thousands of transactions per second instead of merely hundreds as previously seen. Finally, thanks to SegWit technology, developers introduced solutions including Lightning Network, Taproot and Schnorr Signatures which improved scalability further. All together, these upgrades resulted in higher security standards, less energy usage and better performance along with cheaper fees.
Additionally, the rise of Ethereum along with numerous ICO projects fueled growth throughout 2018. Today, billions of dollars worth of ether are held within smart contracts deployed on Ethereum. While this happens, tokens issued during ICOs often represent actual ownership stakes in companies. Consequently, investors feel safer knowing that they’ve invested into something tangible rather than simply owning shares of a corporation.
People began to realize that owning Bitcoins didn’t require buying expensive hardware or paying large taxes. Rather, you could purchase a few hundred dollars worth of computer equipment and begin earning income immediately. This led to rapid increases in overall user numbers and daily trade volume.
In conclusion, bitcoin is gaining traction quickly. There’s little doubt that it will eventually replace existing financial institutions. Over time, it will likely become easier and quicker to acquire, store, send and spend bitcoins. Despite ongoing regulatory uncertainty, it appears that authorities are taking notice and beginning to embrace bitcoin too. Eventually, we’ll probably even start seeing ads promoting bitcoin-related services alongside regular ones. Who knows? Maybe bitcoin will end up becoming the next big thing in tech. Bitcoin’s future outlook certainly looks bright with a lot of room to grow.