Bitcoin: The Ultimate Disruptive Currency
With a simple click, a digital currency craze was born.
All of a sudden, we had this digital currency, known as Bitcoin.
Created in 2009, the peer-to-peer network of cash for the Internet that couldn’t be manipulated by governments or central banks was popping up in virtual wallets everywhere.
No bank. No fee. No inflationary worry. It was simply valued by user confidence.
The renegade currency-- as described by the US Department of Justice – protected many from a decaying dollar, terrifying politicians. Governments feared it could end paper money.
Big businesses – like Overstock.com, Reddit, PayPal, eBay, and Tesla -- began accepting it. Even Dell accepted it “to offer more flexibility for customers.”
Reportedly, retailers are embracing the currency to lower payment-processing fees and make purchases easier, according to The New York Times.
Users no longer had to worry that a team of hackers would steal their credit or debit card information. They could buy anything they wanted online without credit or debit card information without worry of leaving a single trace.
Folks now had the added benefit of crypto-currency, or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security measures, making it impossible to counterfeit. Hackers have tried, though, oftentimes failing because of its untraceable nature.
It’s no surprise the crypto-currency spread like wildfire.
Speculation ran rampant. Valuation skyrocketed, topping out at $1,100. Now, though, as valuation comes back to earth, some analysts are left questioning if the bubble already popped.
It’s not the first attempt at digital currency… and it’s far from being the last.
Created in 2011, the Litecoin is abundant and lightweight, as noted by Business Insider, for example. “Here's what that means. Only 21 million Bitcoin will ever get created, and it's projected that won't occur until 2040. Although in theory this has no practical effect on its value if the Bitcoin economy truly takes off thanks to demand remaining consistent, that fixed amount will help keep prices elevated,” notes Business Insider.
The Litecoin was designed so that “84 million units would be created. And if the Litecoin economy scales up to where Bitcoin evangelists insist Bitcoin should be, the same pseudo-scarcity effect could someday be seen in Litecoin prices.”
We’ve also seen the creation of the Peercoin (2012), the Primecoin (2013), Namecoin (2011), and the Ripple (2013) to name a few. Even the INNcoin for example – the first digital currency backed by gold – is making its rounds.
With Bitcoin – in particular – users can simply stuff their wallets with the currency at exchanges -- much like Coin Café, Coinbase, and expresscoin – with cash, checks, wire transfers, credit and debit cards. They can exchange them with others through an advertising network of users. They can even “mine” them, or as Bitcoinmining.com explains, “miners use special software to solve math problems and are issued a certain number of bitcoins in exchange.”