To most people, Crypto and Bitcoin are just words without meaning. Every day ordinary people go about their lives with little to no concern about economic matters in general, let alone Bitcoin. But Bitcoin is now becoming a juggernaut, and it is time people sit up and pay attention.
People everywhere are now beginning to do so. We look at why Bitcoin is on its way to becoming a mainstream currency and how it can make even the amateur investor fortunes.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency. A virtual currency that is created digitally and recorded on a ledger called the Blockchain. The Blockchain makes notes of the details of each transaction and saves them on the ever-growing chain.
You may have heard the press and buzz around Bitcoin, likely in the form of someone having made millions by selling off the currency after holding onto it for a number of years. The basics that you need to know are;
- Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency.
- Each coin has a high real-world value (today, March 14, the BTC to USD price is $8,871).
- The currency uses an innovative ledger called Blockchain to securely log transactions.
- Contrary to popular belief, you can invest in it at relatively low cost by buying at a lower denomination of the coin.
- Anyone can purchase it, and this article will show you how.
Is Bitcoin Becoming Mainstream?
The acceptance of Bitcoin has grown significantly, to the point we estimate there are at least 5 million unique users of the currency. To put that into perspective, there are entire countries with populations smaller than that. People use Bitcoin more than entire countries use their own currency!
More and more mainstream retailers are trading it on a daily basis. This gives a truly global reach for the currency and makes it desirable where ever you might be in the world. You may scoff, but you might be surprised to know that commercial giants like Virgin, Microsoft and Expedia.com all accept Bitcoin as a payment method.
When the big companies accept a currency in such a way, smaller companies are sure to follow. And follow they did. It is reckoned that you can buy pretty much anything with Bitcoin, this leverages it as a universal currency with the same functionality of the US Dollar.
Why the Sudden Wave of Bitcoin Acceptance?
Traditionally there has always been a lot of scepticism around Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. This stems from a mistrusting public that has been stung by financial hype in the past. When the global recession hit, there were a lot of people that lost a lot of invested money.
This meant that when Bitcoin was released it was labelled as a gimmick or a con. Dismissed easily it was pushed aside in favour of other investments, but there were a loyal few that saw its potential.
Handsome rewards have made their way to those original few. Some have even been making millions upon millions along the way.
How can I get Bitcoin?
Obtaining Bitcoin is relatively simple, follow these steps, and before long you will have the currency that everyone is talking about. But invest in it wisely – don’t rely heavily on becoming the next Bitcoin millionaire.
- Get a Wallet. To hold and store your Bitcoin, you will need to own a Bitcoin wallet. To choose a wallet that is right for your purposes, you first need to understand that there are various types of wallets – online, hardware, software, paper. They differ in price, ease of use and security level. The examples might be Electrum, Trezor, Blockchain.info.
- Get onto an Exchange. Once you have selected the wallet you are happy with, it is time to register with an exchange. There are many cryptocurrency exchanges, so be sure that you check out whether or not the exchange is reputable before joining. A good all-round exchange for investors is CEX.IO. They provide a good platform that is easy to navigate as well as affordable prices in USD, EUR, GBP, etc. They also have the facility to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using a credit card.
- Store your Bitcoin. Once you have completed your purchase, you will notice that your currency is in a temporary wallet on the exchange. To be on the safe side, you will need to withdraw the cryptocurrency to the offline wallet or keep it in a crypto exchange offering cold storage options, otherwise it can entail risks given vulnerability to hacks.
And there you have it. Bitcoin ownership in 3 simple steps.
Is Bitcoin the Currency of the Future?
Bitcoin has experienced a lot of volatility during its tenure, and certainly there are losers as well as winners in the Bitcoin investment game. Investment aside, Bitcoin actually has a very strong future in both the virtual and real world. The blockchain technology it uses has been implemented across many real-world scenarios, from banking and finance to healthcare.
This means that regardless of the token, the blockchain has an intrinsic value. Furthermore, Bitcoin itself is highly valued as a commodity, which means that, provided that people still value it, it will continue to go from strength to strength. Is it the currency of the future? Perhaps. We can definitely say though, Bitcoin is the currency of today. But remember, all investments can make fortunes or lose fortunes so always invest within your means!