Jovial, bespectacled tech head.
An uncommon maverick who mostly sees things in a different way than everybody else.
Passionate about gadgets, new tech, cryptoverse, and the UEFA Champions League.
Bitcoin (BTC) is the oldest and most valuable virtual currency or cryptocurrency. Unlike normal or "fiat" money it is not controlled by any single entity i.e. a government. Instead, it is operated by a decentralised community of users, software developers and the worlds most powerful computer network. In many ways, Bitcoin is more like a version of gold that can be transferred from one owner to another in seconds for a small fee across the internet.
Since it's inception in 2009 Bitcoin has had a meteoric rise in value from just a few cents to its current value of over $10,000 AUD. This has to lead to uptake by speculators some of whom are making fortunes almost overnight. It has also lead to criticism and concern amongst traditional financial markets. Banks and other institutions fear they may become victims technological of disruption, much like the struggling newspapers, failing mail delivery business and the irrelevant taxi industry.
The total supply of Bitcoin is limited to 21 million with around 16 million having already been "minted" or "mined". The last coin will be mined in "2140". Some analysts have forecast that a single Bitcoin could be worth a million dollars by that time. Should the current growth rate continues this is likely to be the case.
A Bitcoin is a scarce commodity, mining a single coin costs more than $1,200 AUD. A Bitcoin cannot be copied or hacked. A Bitcoin can be broken down into a very small fraction, ie at time of writing a 0.1 BTC = $1,000 AUD.
Bitcoin can be held directly by its owners, in a digital wallet, typically a smartphone app or dedicated hardware wallet. Ownership is anonymous, it cannot be confiscated and it can be used to transfer value (money) to anyone with a Bitcoin wallet address.
Much of the developing world are switching their local currency for Bitcoin, avoiding the unstable inflation rates and providing banking-like services to people that would not normally have access to banking. Much like the way Africa is leapfrogging centralised power generation; opting for solar power and sidestepping terrestrial landlines telephones for mobile networks. Bitcoin becomes a way to bank the billions that will never be part of the traditional banking system can start saving in a secure non-confiscatable way.
Whilst we are still in the very early days of development and adoption. Bitcoin is the money of the future that only some people are ready for.