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    Cryptocurrency

    Bitcoin turns 10: how far have cryptocurrencies come?

    Bitcoin turns 10: how far have cryptocurrencies come?

    3/18/2019

    Right now, it seems that there are a huge number of cryptocurrencies around. You only have to look at the number of blockchain offerings that there are to know that cryptocurrency is a big business. With this current boom taking place, it is important to know exactly where it all started. Bitcoin is a lot older than you might think. While it has only been famous over the last two or three years, it is actually ten years old – so what has bitcoin been up to in the last ten years?

    Big dreams

    Bitcoin was never intended to be used as a trading tool for people to purely make money. The initial idea behind bitcoin was to provide an alternative to traditional currency. It was supposed to be removed from the volatility that is provided by bank-supported currencies and offer a decentralised currency that would be resistant to economic downswings.

    By 2017, it had started to rise in value to extreme amounts, which brought it to the attention of the world at large. This long-term rise in price had made it viable as an investment opportunity rather than a replacement to traditional currency. Of course, this does not mean that it will never achieve the initial goal, but it does mean that it is made more difficult due to being pigeonholed.

    What bitcoin has done though is provide a lot of different opportunities for people in a variety of different forms. It brought the term cryptocurrency to the mainstream. It made people realise that there is a viable alternative possible, and while bitcoin may not have managed to achieve exactly what it set out to do, it may have opened the door for other cryptocurrencies to spring into life. So far, none have managed to scale the heights that bitcoin has, but who knows what the future holds?

    It is not just the investment opportunities that bitcoin has brought to the world though – it has also made a number of different changes to the world that have all impacted on our daily lives.

    Blockchain

    The blockchain is the basis of all cryptocurrencies. Without bitcoin, it stands to reason that the large number of additional cryptocurrencies that have appeared would not be around. The blockchain is best described as a ledger that keeps the information about bitcoin and any transactions that have been taken out.


    This is what makes cryptocurrencies so unique and important. The blockchain ensures that bitcoin remains secure when it is used. As each side of the peer-to-peer network has access to the blockchain, they both need to have the same record before any transaction is verified. By utilising this system, it means that bitcoin, and to a lesser extent other current cryptocurrencies, are able to be used in a safe way that is more secure than almost any other financial transaction.

    Not only has the blockchain introduced a wide range of different cryptocurrencies to the world, but it has also allowed for decentralised and secure currencies to become widespread. Without bitcoin blazing a trail ten years ago, we would not be on the way to having a truly recession-proof currency and we certainly would not have the number of different choices that are currently on offer.

    Gambling

    Bitcoin has also made its mark on the world of online gambling. As a decentralised currency, it adds a new dimension of safety to the world of gambling online. While all reputable online casinos use a wide range of security measures to ensure that any transactions are as safe as possible, bitcoin adds another level of safety to any financial transactions. Because the blockchain has to have the same values at both ends of the peer-to-peer network, it means that stealing bitcoins while they undergo a transaction is a lot harder than doing the same with a regular electronic payment.

    This means that when we here at Bitcasino decided to solely offer wagers with bitcoins, it meant that we instantly became one of the safest places on the whole internet to carry out a financial transaction. This, combined with our huge range of games, means that bitcoin has made us the best place to visit. We are able to offer everything from video slots to table games to live casino games. All of this is due to the safety and security that bitcoin offers.


    Facebook

    With the success of bitcoin, it did not take long for Facebook to attempt to take advantage of the widespread media attention that bitcoin had given to cryptocurrency. Facebook has long been looking at ways to integrate commercial activity onto its platform in a secure manner. The viability of bitcoin means that it has finally found a method with which it is comfortable.

    Facebook intends to first release its cryptocurrency through WhatsApp, which it acquired in 2014. With WhatsApp having 1.5 billion users worldwide, it means that the Facebook cryptocurrency would have a potential reach that far outweighs any other cryptocurrency on the market. It would also have a far higher potential to achieve what bitcoin initially set out to do.

    While it is currently only in the development phase, it is safe to say that Facebook will most likely put a lot of energy behind this project. With a former head of PayPal working closely on the project, it does mean that it has the requisite expertise in place to make the program a success. Initially, Facebook intends to focus on the Indian market. Although the firm has not mentioned whether it will spread into other markets after the initial launch, the success of the cryptocurrency should dictate how far around the world its use will spread.

    Without the initial launch of bitcoin, it would be impossible for Facebook to move forward with its own currency. The blockchain technology is a strong driver for the technological advancement that Facebook is currently attempting.

    Venezuela

    Venezuela is a country currently in financial crisis. With inflation at an unsustainable rate, large sanctions placed on trade, and citizens fleeing the country to nearby Columbia, something drastic had to be undertaken to attempt to reverse the slide. The Venezuelan president decided that in order to solve their financial meltdown, they would introduce a state-sponsored cryptocurrency – the first of its kind in the world.

    While the reaction to this from around the world has been mixed, it is testament to the influence of bitcoin that a country sees this as a viable solution to hyperinflation and financial issues. With the decentralised nature of cryptocurrencies, the thinking behind the use of a state-backed cryptocurrency is that it will be able to get around trade costs and international sanctions.

    In addition to the unveiling of the state crypto is the choice to offer bitcoin ATMs in the country. With 76 other countries also offering this service, it could be something that we see all around the world in the near future. While bitcoin is not a physical currency, the ability to access a secure currency at any time, without the risk of it being stolen, could be something else that helps to stimulate the Venezuelan economy. Bitcoin has helped to make both of these things a possibility, as without bitcoin there would be no blockchain to base the national cryptocurrency on and there certainly would not be a bitcoin ATM.

    Whether it helps the country out of its financial crisis is a different matter entirely, but the fact that the government is able to attempt this is something that would not have even been possible ten years ago. Bitcoin has made untraditional solutions such as this a possibility, and could potentially have saved a nation from crisis.

    Using bitcoins

    There are currently very few options available when it comes to using your bitcoins. The obvious and most well-known use is for investments. While this is obviously a large part of the fluctuation in value for bitcoin, as time passes it will become more stable, mainly due to the finite amount of bitcoin that is available. This will make it resistant to inflation, unlike a traditional currency, which can become untenable if hyperinflation takes hold. This makes bitcoin one of the best long-term investments currently, as it is unlikely to be hit hard by global peaks and troughs in the economy.

    That is why we offer the most forward-thinking and secure online casino around. Bitcasino is the best place to be when it comes to bitcoin-focused gaming. Every single one of our games allows for bitcoins to be wagered, meaning that every transaction that is made on one of our games is subject to an additional layer of security to almost every other casino out there. If you want to play the best selection of games and be safe in the knowledge that your details and currency are secure, then visit Bitcasino today.


    Words: Sean McNulty

    Images: Shutterstock

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