Bitcoin was created 10 years ago as a decentralized method of payment. It was cheaper, instantaneous, and a better alternative to traditional banking systems. Over time, these systems have improved dramatically whilst Bitcoin's growth has slowed and transaction fees have risen. Some people may be wondering if it's worth using Bitcoin today.
This question has become more relevant as high authority figures in economics, finance, and governance have publicly denounced Bitcoin, calling it the biggest bubble in history. True or not, the entire cryptocurrency market is now worth over $400 billion and there are thousands of companies dedicated to offering Bitcoin and cryptocurrency services.
There's no doubt about the Bitcoin facts and figures, and it's a no-brainer that the world's first-ever cryptocurrency will be an integral part of the international community for many decades to come. Let's take a look at several reasons why you need to start using Bitcoin today.
Exchange value with more trust
The role of banks is primarily to facilitate transactions between two parties who don't trust each other. Bitcoin allows people to exchange value without relying on a third party. The first use of Bitcoin was in May 2012 and a lot has happened since then.
Bitcoin is probably known for its volatility and use as a speculative asset that reaps high returns for investors. The price of Bitcoin was hovering around $1,000 at the beginning of 2017, but by the end of the year, it peaked at almost $20,000. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) was at its highest and newcomers jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of owning a piece of digital gold.
Unfortunately, the digital asset went into correction mode and its price tumbled by more than 50%. Despite this, Bitcoin is still a viable investment asset but the days of 'blind investments' are gone.
Digital data has become the new target for cybercriminals. Recently, major tech companies have been breached and personal information has been stolen. Credit card and personal identification information are at the top of criminals' lists.
When making online payments where shipping is not required, it is wise to use Bitcoin since personal information does not need to be submitted. This reduces the chances of being a victim of identity theft and other online criminal activity.
People have traditionally kept their money in banks, giving these financial institutions control. Banks charge interest rates and high fees for the use of their services, however, rely on customers' money to grow their financial empires.
The banks can, at any moment, freeze accounts, restricting users from accessing their money. Bitcoin gives people the power to take control of their own savings and have access to their money as and when they wish.
When moving from one country to another, you have to convert your money to the currency of the country you are traveling to. The current financial system is limited by physical boundaries and as such, is not truly inclusive.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, knows no boundaries. It makes it easy for people working overseas to send money home to their loved ones.
There is no limit to how much a government can increase the monetary supply. This sparks inflation and money loses its buying power, over time. Moreover, money is controlled by an elite few who can act in their best interest, first. Also, fiat currencies of several countries have collapsed and individuals have lost their savings overnight.
In contrast, the total number of bitcoins that will ever be in circulation is hard capped at 21 million. Bitcoin will be scarce at some point and is not subject to inflation.
Bitcoin has been called many names, such as "Digital Gold", and has been compared to the Dutch tulip bubble of the 17th century. However, Bitcoin is far more than just the next evolution of money. It is a modern tool for supporting liberal free markets. The use of Bitcoin is expected to rise as more fiat currencies collapse.
Some use Bitcoin for fun, others to hide their identity, to get a glimpse of the future or to hedge their savings against inflation. What do you use bitcoin for? The infographic below contains 24 fun facts about Bitcoin for you to read:
Infographic courtesy of ICOWatchlist.com