Cryptocurrency can simply be defined as a digital or virtual currency, or asset which is secured by cryptography, hence the name cryptocurrency.
Here is our overview of the best crypto robot traders:
- ✔️Bitcoin – history, and development
- ✔️Bitcoin’s growth through the years
- ✔️Why is Bitcoin so valuable?
- Reasons for exchanging Bitcoin
- The creation and generation of new Bitcoins
- How to trade or exchange Bitcoin
- Introduction to Crypto or Bitcoin Wallets
- How Bitcoin compares to other payment methods
It is near impossible for cryptocurrency to be counterfeited or double-spent, which is one of the reasons which gives rise to its value.
Introduction to Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies are decentralized networks that are based on blockchain technology, which is a decentralized ledger that is distributed to record the provenance of either a digital currency or an asset.
This Distributed Ledger Technology, or more commonly referred to as DLT, ensures that the history of a digital currency or cryptocurrency is both unalterable and transparent.
Cryptocurrencies cannot be issued, controlled, or manipulated by any government entity which makes it impossible to interfere with it or for it to be manipulated.
Bitcoin – history, and development
Although Bitcoin has only been around for just over a decade, before its actual launch, there had been numerous digital cash technology which has started through issuer based ecash protocols.
Has cash was developed and it was a proof-of-work scheme to control scams. There were numerous proposals for a distributed digital scarcity, known as cryptocurrencies.
In 2008, there was the registration of the domain bitcoin.org followed by a link to a paper which was authored by Satoshi Nakamoto with the title Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System which had been posted to a cryptography mailing list and was circulated.
By 2009, the bitcoin network had come into existence as the first open-source client was released and the very first bitcoins were released. Satoshi Nakamoto had been the first to mine the first block of bitcoins, which was dubbed the genesis block.
This rewarded Nakamoto with 50 bitcoins with the coin base of the block that he had mined containing the text which read “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”
Hal Finney was one of the first supporters, adopters, and contributors to bitcoin who, subsequently, also received the first bitcoin transaction. Finney was a programmer who downloaded the bitcoin software on the day that it was released, receiving 10 bitcoins from Nakamoto in which would be the first official bitcoin transaction in the world.
Before he disappeared from all involvement in Bitcoin, Nakamoto, in a sense, handed over the reins to Gavin Andresen, who became the lead developer in bitcoin at the Bitcoin Foundation, which is the bitcoin community’s closest thing to having a public face.
Bitcoin’s growth through the years
One of the most popular questions asked regarding the history of Bitcoin is how much it had been worth in 2009. Bitcoin transactions, and their value, were negotiated by participants on the forum dedicated to bitcoin.
There was a notable transaction to the value of 10,000 BTC which was used to purchase two pizzas that were delivered by Papa John’s. It was the only major security flaw that has ever been exploited in the history of Bitcoin.
- 03 January – the genesis block appears and 50 BTC was generated.
- 09 January – Bitcoin v0.1. was issued, the first version of bitcoin.
- 05 October – the first Bitcoin course towards dollar exchange was published with 1 USD equal to 1,309.03 BTC.
- 16 December – Bitcoin v0.2 appeared.
- 06 February – The first official cryptocurrency stock exchange, Bitcoin Market, was launched.
- 22 May – Bitcoin was used for the first time in an online purchase where Laszlo Hanyecz indirectly bought a Papa John’s pizza for 10,000 BTC which was equal to 25 USD as the value of Bitcoin was 0.0025 cents for a coin.
- 11 July – Bitcoin v0.3 was mentioned on Slashdot.org, a news website, and subsequently, the number of bitcoin users increased drastically followed by the exchange rate increase from 0.008 USD per BTC to 0.08 USD per BTC the next day.
- 17 July saw the launch of the cryptocurrency exchange called MtGox.
- 1 October saw the creating of the first public miner, Open CL and by the 7th, the Bitcoin exchange rate had escalated.
- 6 November – The Bitcoin share capital reached the US $1 million with the exchange rate reaching US$0.50 for a BTC on MtGox.
2011 and onwards
- More cryptocurrencies had begun emerging by 2011 and were based on the same open-source code of Bitcoin. The first website to accept donations in bitcoin was WikiLeaks, with numerous others following in this example in years to come.
- In 2012, Bitcoin was featured in The Goodwife and during the same year, the Bitcoin foundation was launched in addition to BitPay reporting that more than 1,000 merchants had started to accept Bitcoin.
- During 2013, Coinbase saw the sale of approximately US$1 million worth of Bitcoins and in the same year, Bitcoin donations were accepted by the Internet Archive followed by numerous other developments not only in Bitcoin but Cryptocurrency as a whole.
- Bitcoin started being accepted more readily as a payment method by 2014, with more merchants allowing for cryptocurrency payments.
- Bitcoin’s network exceeded 1 exahash per day in 2016 and by March of the same year, the Cabinet of Japan had started recognizing virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, in having the same function as real, or Fiat, currencies.
- More businesses signed up to start using Bitcoin by 2017, with substantial increases in the transaction rate associated with BitPay. Bitcoin had already begun gaining legitimacy in the same year with both lawmakers and legacy financial companies.
- 2017 onwards saw not only an increase in the trading volume of Bitcoin, but by 2019, more than 5,457 Bitcoin ATMs had been erected around the world in the U.S, Canada, UK, Spain, South Africa, and other jurisdictions as trading volumes increased.
Why is Bitcoin so valuable?
One of the most predominant factors in the value of Bitcoin is concerned with the fact that it was the very first digital currency that was created. In addition to this is the fact that it was also the first currency recognized over which no person, organization, or authority has control.
Bitcoin can be bought, sold, and received, but no one can be told what they must do with it, how it should be spent, or how it must be invested.
Bitcoin is completely free from the dictatorship of any kind in addition to oppression, and hyperinflation. It serves as a haven asset for people who are greatly affected by such circumstances. It is also why the governments of numerous developing countries have tried to outlaw Bitcoin, as they have no control over it.
Bitcoin is not something that can be created, destroyed, or remain in circulation such as with fiat currencies. There is a limited supply of Bitcoin, only 21 million to be exact, and there will never be any more created than this number.
There is also complete transparency that surrounds Bitcoin in knowing how many there are, what the rate is at which they are released, and when the last Bitcoin will be created or released.
There is a massive amount of leverage that Bitcoin has over fiat currencies as these are under the control of central banks and governments, and their monetary systems or policies.
These monetary systems are strictly controlled and often manipulated, as there is a certain supply of money that is backed by the word of the governments – who have substantial say in the monetary value thereof. These are just one of the numerous controversial issues which surround fiat currencies and cannot be applied to cryptocurrencies.
There is a unique design attributed to Bitcoin and it is posed to have a certain impact on the lives of people regardless of the unstable economies in which they find themselves where monetary systems are manipulated by participants such as banks and governments.
Fiat currency cannot merely fall away, or disappear from existence although, it is impossible to ignore the acceptance that cryptocurrencies are experienced, and the rate at which it is being accepted in more industries, countries, and jurisdictions.
Monetary systems have been around for ages, and they serve some purpose, and they are important as they are still regarded as the most stable ground for both exchange and trade. However, fiat currencies are heavily affected by inflation, whereas Bitcoin is not.
This makes Bitcoin, in addition to all other factors, the strongest contender of the two without fear that Bitcoin will suddenly overthrow fiat currencies.
Reasons for exchanging Bitcoin
Bitcoin can be exchanged to make substantial amounts of profit although there is a lot of stigma surrounding how it can be made in trading or exchanging, something which technically does not exist physically in that it cannot be seen, touched, or handled.
There is a lot of belief that the only way in which profit can be made from trading currencies, is when major currency pairs are being traded but this, however, is slowly changing as more brokers and traders alike accept and embrace cross pairs that contain both cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.
Successful traders do not only focus on one currency pair but diversify their portfolio to make profits across a wide board of currency pairs which often includes least traded exotic and cross pairs.
There is, however, higher volatility involved with trading these pairs with further increases as they are being traded more.
The presence and the onset involved with market volatility is but one reason why traders are considering a move from fiat currency trading over to trading cryptocurrencies or shifting their focus to cross pairs.
Some of these reasons include:
- Market movements associated with Bitcoin are easier to understand and they do not merely focus on major trends in the market.
- The buying and selling of bitcoin are an easy way through which profits can be made once traders have learned more about the theory behind trading and they have practiced it in risk-free trading environments before trading live.
- The price on Bitcoin is far less susceptible to high impact news than fiat currencies are, and traders are, besides, not forced to spend as much time conducting fundamental analysis when speculating on the price of bitcoin as opposed to fiat.
- Bitcoin trading does not involve high leverage as with other financial instruments and this also reduces the amount of risk that traders are exposed to when trading Bitcoin.
- There is a global market established for the trading of Bitcoin and seeing that it is not centralized, or based in one economy of a country, as is the case with fiat currencies.
- Although Forex can be traded at any time 24/5, there is a weekend gap. When trading Cryptocurrency, it can be traded 24/7.
- There is no single official exchange but a variety of exchanges around the globe that do not have fixed closing and/or opening times.
- The Bitcoin market is volatile and features a quick burst where prices may move either up or down in a short amount of time. This provides traders with adequate opportunities to harness the volatility with strategies that accommodated the conditions and thus secure larger profits.
The creation and generation of new Bitcoins
It has already been established that there is a set number of Bitcoins, and beyond this number, new coins will never be created or released, but how exactly is Bitcoin created or generated?
Simply explained, Bitcoin transactions are processed and overseen by miners. These miners are responsible for securing the Bitcoin network in addition to providing a level of security.
Seeing that these transactions occur online, the level of security may be threatened by hackers ,frequently and having miners means that security is increased as threats and attacks may render the network vulnerable to such a point where it could be rendered useless.
As payment for their services, efforts, and level of security that they secure, these miners are rewarded with both Bitcoin and a certain amount in transaction fees which can vary in amount from one broker and exchange to the next.
When a miner successfully solves the proof of work algorithm associated with Bitcoin, it means that the miner has mined one block.
Miners often do not work alone but also work in mining pools. Regardless of a single individual or a group, when a block has been mined successfully, a ‘block reward’ is provided to those who have solved the complex algorithm.
These rewards are made up of a set number of Bitcoins that have been agreed on by the network. The Bitcoin contained in the block reward is therefore new Bitcoins that have been generated or released.
In every block, there are 50 Bitcoins, and the blocks halve at every 210,000 blocks which have been mined. When a block is mined by a miner or a mining pool, they receive a reward of 50 Bitcoins, and when that block is halved, at 210,001, the reward halves to 25 Bitcoins, and so on.
There is some level of difficulty involved with Bitcoin to ensure that blocks are only found at an average interval of 10 minutes. This, subsequently, means that there is a block halving every four years considering that blocks halve at 210,000 blocks mined.
This means that every 10 minutes, new bitcoins are generated, or released when a block is mined. These Bitcoins cannot be returned to circulation. This is where the level of transparency with Bitcoin is astounding as all of this information is publically available and can be verified by making use of a block explorer.
With the block reward halving set at a specific number of times, the blocks and subsequent rewards, and amount of Bitcoin rewarded, will become so small that new Bitcoins cannot be created.
How to trade or exchange Bitcoin
Bitcoin can either be bought, sold, or exchanged and traded in numerous ways, including:
- Trading – Bitcoin can be traded through a Broker which makes provision for it as part of their offering as a tradable financial instrument such as Contracts for Difference, or more commonly referred to as CFDs.
- Bitcoin or Cryptocurrency exchanges including Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, and numerous others. Every exchange works differently and they are either centralized or decentralized
- Peer-to-peer – there are sites such as LocalBitcoins which allow for the buying and selling of Bitcoin directly between two participants with extraordinarily little, or no, intervention from any facilitator such as a broker or an exchange.
- Bitcoin ATM – which has become immensely popular in recent years in major cities around the world. Traders are offered the opportunity for Bitcoin to be bought or sold at a Bitcoin ATM instead of conventional ways as the others have been mentioned.
Introduction to Crypto or Bitcoin Wallets
When considering that Bitcoin is a currency of some kind, albeit one that is digital and can therefore not be physically handled, it would make sense that there is a specially designed wallet that serves the purpose of holding Bitcoins.
As a physical wallet is used to store either cash or bank cards, crypto wallets are used to store cryptocurrencies. It is a software program that is used to store Bitcoin, and the safeguarding thereof, like an ATM pin, is a private key that only the owner of the wallet should have.
Cryptocurrencies cannot merely be stored on any provided software program as they carry significant monetary value. They require a specially designed safe storage that has a private key, or a secret number known only by the owner of the wallet.
These keys are designed for every individual who has a balance in a Bitcoin wallet. The key or the number corresponds with the Bitcoin wallet address and the wallet can be used to either send or receive Bitcoin. It also provides ownership of the Bitcoin to the user of the wallet.
Bitcoin wallets are not bound to only one given a platform and a user can gain access to their wallet through their desktop, mobile device or smartphone, web browser, or other hardware specifically designed to serve as a wallet.
In identity Bitcoins and other cryptocurrency to be exchanged, it is necessary for traders to be in possession of a crypto wallet. One thing that traders have to remember is that somthatpto wallets are designed for certain cryptocurrencies and depending on what they wish to trade, they must ensure that their wallet supports multiple currencies.
Different types of wallets available
Desktop wallets are created with the purpose of being downloadable onto a desktop or laptop where it can be installed and used. These wallets can be accessed regardless of the internet connectivity as it is a program which is installed on the desktop.
These wallets are downloadable for desktops and laptops who make use of the following operating systems:
- MacOS, and
- Microsoft Windows.
The most popular and most used desktop Bitcoin wallet currently is Armory as it has a wide variety of advanced safety features in addition to being user-friendly.
As mobile devices have become more advanced and now mimic computers that fit in the palm of our hands, it is only logical that there are mobile wallets that provide users with access at any given time, from anywhere in the world.
There are more trades that are executed on mobile devices in recent years than there ever have been before and thus, Bitcoin wallets have also been developed and launched for an array of mobile devices.
These can be downloafrom the operating system application store such as Google Play for Android or Apple Store for iOS devices and offer users with a convenient w access and manage their Bitcoin wallet.
Two of the most popular wallets which have been developed for use by mobile devices, thus far, is Blockchain and Mycelium. These can both be accessed and downloaded for use on Android and iOS devices.
For users of Blackberry, there is a solution to tradedibility which comes in the form of the Bitcoin app which can be downloaded read installed on mobile devices to provide users with acess to their mobile Bitcoin wallet.
With further advent of technology, the introduction and more widespread use of QR codes, this now provides users with the ability to make instant payments from their Bitcoin Wallets much like with banking apps and SnapScan.
Cold Wallets and Hot Wallets
These wallets have but one crucial difference between them and that is internet connectivity.
A cold wallet is one whichwhichnare connected to the internet and thus one that operates offline. This type of wallet is considered to be the most secure between the two as it safeguards the user from online attacks.
A hot wallet is thus one which requires internet connectivity not only to access, bu to perform transactions and it poses a significant threat as it is one whicthatmostly targeted by hackers.
Traders are, however, advised to keep both of these types of wallets, and not just one. A cold wallet is recommended for the storing of large sums of Bitcoins whereas a hot wallet is recommended for use when transacting, trading, or making everyday purchases in Bitcoin.
Online Web Wallets
These types of wallets are web-based and thus always connected to the internet, as the name suggests. They can be accessed through cloud services through third-party software and they provide traders with access to their Bitcoin wallets much like other wallets on this list do.
Traders are, however, once again warned about the threat concerned with online wallets as they are often the first attacked by hackers and often the hardest hit. Traders are advised to use a cold wallet to keep the larger sum of their funds and use other wallets for transactions.
Developers and subsequent providers of Online Web Wallets include Circle and Coinbase.
This may seem quite contradictory due to the nature of Bitcoin, but these wallets, also referred to as paper wallets, are arecifically generated by Blockchain.info and Bitaddress.org where a physical copy, or paper copy, of the Bitcoin address and private keys are provided to be printed and which can be stored away safely.
These types of wallets have become increasingly popular and they are small devices whicthatre the Bitcoin of the user and which can be used for both sending and receiving of Boin through online transactions.
A popular and well-known device for this purpose is Trezor, and it is a portable physical crypt.
These refer to the original wallets which were used by those who founded and established Bitcoin. They are computers that have these wallets installed and are being sold in the Bitcoin community.
These wallets provide online trading clients with access to all transactions which are executed through Blockchain.
How Bitcoin compares to other payment methods
It has already been established that Bitcoin is becoming a more readily accepted payment method, often above conventional payment methods in use. It is one of the greatest features of Bitcoin, amidst numerous others, and there is an increase in its acceptance almost daily.
It is imperative to consider how Bitcoin weighs up in the comparison with other payment methods due to its increased popularity. Often it is attributed to its value, orthe fact that it cannot be controlled, but when compared with other payment methods, Bitcoin has these distinct benefits and advantages:
- There is no individual bank account involved which links transactions that occur either between Bitcoin wallets or any other receiver or sender of Bitcoin which provides a certain level of anonymity and security.
- Bitcoin can be used by anyone and depending on the exchange, there is not always account verification involved. Frequent identity checks and that of proof of residence is not always mandatory, but this depends on one broker or exchange to the next.
- There is no central authority, bank, or government which directs how Bitcoin can or cannot be spent, it all depends on the owner of the Bitcoin.
- Once a Bitcoin account has been opened, it cannot be seized or closed by any other entity other than the owner or the user.
- The privacy of the user is greatly enhanced when using Bitcoin which reduces the chances of identity theft greatly, which is a great problem in conventional monetary systems as despite the security in place, this still happens on occasion.
- The transfer of Bitcoin is processed a lot faster than with other payment methods such as bank transfers, which may take several days to clear.
- Bitcoin does not have any international boundaries as it can be sent or received to or from anywhere in the world.
- Users have full control over their funds in addition to having unlimited access, despite the time or where they are in the world.
- There are high transaction fees associated with some payment methods in addition to users having to pay money fees, annual overdraft, over-limit fees, and numerous other fees.
- There is hardly a minimum or maximum involved with transactions, although this is not the case with all exchanges or brokers as they often impose minimums or maximums based on various conditions, especially those who require for verification of identity.
- Purchases can be made anonymously as the name of the user is not tied to the transaction, and
- Merchants are granted with more security and assurance as payments or transactions cannot be reversed and thus it cancels out chargebacks on credit cards.
Trading Bitcoin through a broker or a cryptocurrency exchange platform
Apart from the numerous ways already mentioned through which Bitcoin can be bought, sold, trader, or exchanged – two of the predominant ways of buying or selling Bitcoin is done either through a Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform, or through a Broker.
Through a Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform
Seeing that there are no singular or official exchanges through which Bitcoin can be traded, sold, or bought, but various exchanges that cater for these transactions, there is an array of exchanges that have emerged in recent years, although the rule of thumb remains, as with most things, quality over quantity.
Despite the number of exchanges which have emerged, there is still an issue of the quality thereof as Bitcoin, and all other cryptocurrency trading or exchange, is forseveralr part unregulated. It is impossible fa something which is decentralized to be regulatedhis poses a risk, albeit a few, where client fund security, compensation, and a number of other factors are concerned. Without at regulatory entity overviewing the operations of an exchange, how are traders protected?
There is no guarantee that traders can be protected, but traders can protect themselves and their funds in a variety of ways by making sure that they conduct thorough research on an exchange platform, and that they consider the following factors:
- The liquidity of the exchange in addition to its market depth. There must be equal amounts of both liquidity and market depth to ensure that the exchange can adequately fill orders. It also decreases the chances that a quick dip in the market will occur, which may result in substantial losses.
- The fees associated with trading and transactions which these exchanges charge for their services. These fees should allow the trader to exit regardless of the size of movements and allow them to make a small profit as well.
- The location of the exchange and whether it permits for deposits or withdrawals made in fiat currencies. This allows traders to make deposits and withdrawals more comfortably in their own currency but may be subjected to conversion fees.
- Regulation, if any, and trust based on the experiences of other traders due to the unregulated nature of the cryptocurrency market. However, this does not mean that exchanges cannot be trusted.
- Regarding security, traders must conduct thorough research on the history of the exchange that they wisthatuse, past threats and how many of them were successful, actions that the exchange took, current security measures, and more.
- Customer support – this is another critical factor which must be considered as it relates to how the exchange will deal with thats, queries, or emergencies that traders may have and how prompt and accurate the response is.
Through a Broker
Bitcoin is being offered by numerous brTraders must considerraded. However, as with choosing a broker for conventional trading as with Forex, and other instruments, it may be tedious and intimidating.
It is imperative for traders to consider the following factors when choosing a broker through which to trade Bitcoin including:
- Regulation – this ensures client fund security and ensures that transactions are conducted fairly,to addition to numerous other benefits involved with choosing a regulated brokthe er over one which is not regulated.
- Account Types – brokers offer different account types which cater for various traders based on their trading needs and obyion to trading experience.
- Fees – there are both trading and not-trading fees that traders need to consider when selecting a broker through which to trade Bitcoin in accordance with their trading plan.
- Tradable assets – apart from wanting to trade Bitcoin, traders need to look at the asset portfolio of the broker holistically.
- Liquidity – which involves the broker’s ability to sell without the price being affected significantly. Liquidity also affects transaction fees where higherquestionsty may lead to a decrease in such where lower liquidity may to an increase in fees.
- Customer Service – the level of service This the broker offers in case thatrs have question, queries, and emergencies must be tested as well to ensure for prompt and adequate customer support.
- Deposits and Withdrawals – this is another crucial factor which involves the ease with which deposits and withdrawals can be made. The number of methods, types of methods, processing time, and other factors need to be considered.
Other factors that traders need to consider where brokers are concerned involves:
- The amount and types of cryptocurrency pairs offered
- The quality and the usability of trading platforms offered, and more.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin is establishing a track record
There are multiple hurdles that Bitcoin has already overcome in the years that it has been in use and existence.
Despite many challenges, Bitcoin has shown strength endurance in a tough financial environment against competitors including Gold, Silver, and numerous strong currencies such as the US Dollar, and others.
Bitcoin offers traders with diversification a hedge
Numerous traders are greatly concerned with government debt, central bank quantitative easing, the value of fiat currencies, and more.
However, Bitcoin offers traders with a way for these types of risks to be spread and for storeio to be heNumerous shops now offerarted forming a part of our daily lives
Bitcoin has become accepted more readily as a payment method in addition to being a storage of value. Thre are numerous shops that now offer Bitcoin payments and there has been a substantial increase in Bitcoin services.
There are numerous problems that cryptocurrencies solve
Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies solve numerous problems, as already mentioned in this article, as a recap, some of these include:
- High inflation
- Capital controls
- The confiscation of assets
- Ultra-high fees charged by conventional banks
There are substantial amounts of momentum
There is a substantial amount of movement in the market which can be observed especially where BTC/USD, LTC/USD, and ETH/USD is concerned.
When holistically viewed, there is a lot of room for misunderstanding Bitcoin, but when viewed in-depth and how Bitcoin is created, how it moves, and how it can be used to solve a lot of issues surrounding convenremainmoney systems, or fiat currencies, a lot of light can be shed on its importance, value, and what it may mean for the future.
However, the future surrounding cryptocurrencies remains uncertain, but it is clear that they are increasing in popularity significantly while the fact remains that they will never be able to completely replace fiat currencies.
Despite the spike in popularity and acceptance around the world, there is still a lot of stigma and controversy which surrounds cryptocurrencies and despite this, they have already established their place in a digitized age where there is more reliance on them as a currency as there is on conventional currencies and monetary systems.