When Satoshi Nakamoto invented Bitcoin, he never thought he was inventing a currency. Nakamoto’s ultimate goal was to develop a system for digital cash without requiring a central entity to control and regulate it. This decision led to the birth of the world’s first cryptocurrency.
HISTORY AND GROWTH
Since the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009, many other cryptocurrencies have entered the market, namely Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple. According to the Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study 2017 by University of Cambridge, the combined market value for all cryptocurrencies until April 2017 was around $27 billion.
As soon as Bitcoin gained popularity, it required a market price to compare it against the traditional currency. It also required a trading exchange where users could trade it against actual money. The first trading exchange for trading Bitcoins and establishing a market price was founded in early 2010.
Today, more than 100 exchanges are dealing in cryptocurrencies. The major trading exchanges include Coinbase, Bithumb, Poloniex, and Kraken.
In 2015, Bitcoin secured its place on the New York Stock Exchange creating a proprietary index to track Bitcoin with the ticker symbol NYXBT.
At the time of this blog post, NYXBT has spiked more than 600% in the past year!
The trading volume for all cryptocurrencies has increased significantly and hit $4.3 billion in May 2017.
Currently, Bitcoin leads the market share due to its wide coverage and financial stability. Bitcoin (BTC) breached the $2000 mark in May 2017, which means that one Bitcoin was valued at a whopping price of $2000! It can be safely said that Bitcoin remains the safe haven for traders and investors alike.
Running second, Ethereum (ETH) was formed due to a new blockchain alliance by Microsoft, Intel, Accenture, and other major tech companies. It is called the Enterprise Alliance. Ethereum gained traction due to its incorporation of digital contracts into the cryptocurrency world. Being called the silver to Bitcoin gold, it has risen in the past years and currently trades at around $380.
Why is "Blockchain" Important to Cryptocurrency?
The vital reason for the growth and popularity of cryptocurrency is its innovative, secure ecosystem, backed by blockchain technology. The mechanism ruling blockchain technology is simple.
Any transaction uploaded in the database is locked and encrypted. These encrypted transactions are uploaded onto the existing ledger which becomes a “block” in the system.
A “block” is a public ledger that is shared among all the peers on the network. Once encrypted on the block, the transaction becomes permanent and unalterable. Each new transaction created becomes part of the chain of all encrypted blocks called the “blockchain.”
Future Prospect of Cryptocurrency
A $10,000 purchase of Bitcoin in 2010 would be worth around $300 million today. Said another way, a mere $100 purchase of Bitcoin in 2010 would be worth a whopping $3 million today.
But there is still a lot of hope for insane growth.
The past gains in Bitcoin are certainly not over, nor are these kind of gains just limited to the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. There are more than 800 cryptocurrencies in existence today — and a few of them, like Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin, will likely see similar growth.
By 2030, 15% of all global financial transactions are projected to use Bitcoin or a Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency. What this means to us is that anyone who still thinks Bitcoin is an interesting anomaly has been, and continues to be, dead wrong.
Bitcoin developer, Jimmy Song, has compared the cryptocurrency trading volume to major stock exchanges like NASDAQ. While this seems like a far-fetched comparison, the growth in cryptocurrency is predicted to continue its growth exponentially well into the future and therefore, provides a solid investment opportunity.
It's a fact that cryptocurrency has revolutionized the way money is portrayed. It's highly probable that digital currencies will integrate into our current systems and do so sooner than later. Armed with this knowledge, it would be prudent to do some serious research on how to get into the crypto game.
Des Woodruff (aka d-seven)