Bitcoin is basically an anonymous, centralized digital currency. So, theoretically, it was built to be the untraceable version of cash. Not money but cash. The idea of having a digital unhackable and invulnerable decentralized currency got so well liked by people that they started treating it more like a commodity than the currency. Just like gold, People started investing and hodling (the typical term of holding coins till they generate profit) the coins. It soon turned out to be an investment vehicle and the basic idea of it being a digital currency got dragged down the tunnel somewhat.
So, yeah it is basically both a currency and a commodity. Yet untraceable! Sounds like a win-win?
Bitcoin is a secure and decentralized digital currency. It’s also a trad-able financial asset like bonds and stocks. Think if you want to pay or transfer another person a hundred dollar. What you do is you transfer your money to that other person. But in reality, what actually you are doing is asking a third commodity to deduct the cash from your account and transfer it to that person’s account. Bitcoin eliminates this interference of the third or fourth entity. It establishes this direct transfer link between you and the other person.
Unlike other monetary and economic affairs, Bitcoin is not regulated by any financial body or the government entity. Unlike stock market and shares, there is no fundamental rule or practice that can predict or determine the future value of the currency. Due to its incredible price volatile nature, the transactions or investment in the currency can be extremely complicated.
Why Criminals like Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a totally secured and anonymous network. Anybody can come up and make an account and start the transactions. It requires literally no name, address or any else personal information. This encrypted platform generates a unique user ID, wallet IDs to the operator. During the transaction, only that specific ID will be visible and displayed to the viewer.
Due to this feature of the Bitcoin structure, making all the transactions complete anonymously, a lot of criminals were attracted. They used this platform to hide their identity and their transactions to practice illegal and unauthorized dealings.
With the ability to buy or sell anything without your name ever being revealed, a huge set up of the black market started running in around 2011. Silk Bank became an online transaction hub for all these illegal activities using Bitcoin. FBI broke the phenomena resting that these Bitcoins were untraceable. They were traced and Silk Bank was shut down. All the Bitcoins were subsequently acquired by the FBI.
21 Million… Ever!
One of the most amusing and interesting things about Bitcoins is that there are only 21,000 Bitcoins to be mined. Ever!! Yes, the total amount of these bitcoins will never exceed this amount no matter what. These coins are generated through a process called ‘mining’. Around 17 million of these coins have been generated till now. These coins are in circulation around the world balancing the network. This means, only 5 million of these coins are left to be mined to reach the limited threshold.
Generally, there is a new winner every 10 minutes, winning about 12.5 coins every time. This reward of 12.5 coins is halved every year too. So that means, in about 2140 we will be able to mine all these 21 million coins once in for all. Every existing Bitcoin is created using this same method. Anyone can mine these coins, provided with suitable supporting systems.
Merchants and consumers are slowly accepting and becoming comfortable with this digital currency. So, will this sum of 21,000 million enough bearing the collective economy pressure someday?
A bitcoin is divisible up to 8 decimal parts. Being deflationary in nature, if the market rises on a continues basis making its value to trillions, there will be an adequate amount resting with every coin in circulation.