The world’s most famous cryptocurrency was invented in 2009 when an internet user called Satoshi Nakomoto released the Bitcoin whitepaper. The journey Bitcoin has undertaken the past decade is mind-boggling, now finally being regarded as a serious financial asset.
The issues that persist with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have always been the same. Depending on how you look at it, Bitcoin’s strengths and weaknesses could in fact be oxymorons. For example, with digital currency, you are essentially your own bank, meaning greater responsibility as a middleman cannot help you. If you send Bitcoin to the wrong address, it’s gone forever, whereas in the traditional banking system, money never vanishes. There is an element of control that banks and financial institutions have, that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are trying to change. It is a decentralized approach compared to the traditional centralized approach whereby Governments or companies hold the power. The notion of web3 and crypto will be an interesting development in the decade to come.
There are a few fair arguments about the negative aspect of cryptocurrency but on the other hand, there are many positive elements. Bitcoin first became famous as it was used as the currency on dark web marketplaces like Silk Road. It has always been associated with black market goods and this puts off a lot of regular people thinking it’s a scam or dangerous. Furthermore, there are also environmental concerns about Bitcoin due to its mining process consuming vast amounts of electricity. Prominent people such as Elon Musk have repeatedly made this point about cryptocurrencies and climate change.
Climate change is a major political issue today, being near or at the top of most Western governments’ agendas. For example, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister has declared a climate emergency, committing to a carbon-neutral government by 2025. Individuals are more aware of their carbon footprint and are making changes in their day-to-day lives to offset climate change. For example, many people are now choosing to work from home to save the commute or deciding to have more entertainment at homes such as watching a movie or playing casino games like roulette and slots. Many opt to use comparison sites like https://www.vegasslotsonline.com/nz/ when playing all the best pokies. There you can play for free and if you want to play for real money, they check for all the best welcome bonuses like free spins. Additionally, they have all the latest news to keep you up to date.
A major positive of cryptocurrency is that it has banked the unbanked. In the West, many people take having a bank account for granted, but in many places in the world, people do not have one. With the use of a smartphone, anyone has access to Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, not to mention the Decentralised Finance (DeFi) options available.
Many big companies have delved into cryptocurrency, but most are not willing to expose themselves too much to the currency. Famously, Tesla bought Bitcoin in 2020 and later sold it. Facebook announced the Libra project but later canceled it and many investors in Apple want them to launch a cryptocurrency: https://applemagazine.com/apple-urged-by-investors-to-launch-a-cryptocurrency/45701. If you hold Bitcoin you can spend it at many major companies such as Reddit, Starbucks, and Expedia.
The mystery of Bitcoin so far has proved to be an asset with nobody knowing who Satoshi Nakamoto is. If this were to be revealed, Bitcoin would probably see a sharp sell-off. A huge problem cryptocurrencies have is that of stability as the price swings are very volatile. When an asset is up 10% one day and down 7% the next, this does not give investors’ confidence. Moreover, it does beg the question whether Bitcoin can ever be a stable investment?https://www.coindesk.com/markets/2014/12/06/can-bitcoins-price-ever-be-stable/. It is a brand new type of asset, with very little context or history so guessing how high the price will go is close to impossible.
Cryptocurrencies offer more to the developing world than the developed, and Western governments are doing what they can to educate the public on the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. Whether crypto will take over the world remains to be seen, but whatever happens, it still has a long way to go.