As you already know that bitcoin is purely digital, so there’s no physical digging in it. And in a world of virtual currency, such creation is known as mining. However, the computer power needs a lot of electricity to create digital tokens.
According to Alex de Vries (an economist who tracks energy use in the industry), each digital token consumes energy, equivalent to an average American household burns in two years.
If we talk about the total number of computers that are plugged into bitcoin network, then the energy consumed by the network is equivalent to the energy of a medium-size country. The network that supports the second most valuable virtual currency, Ethereum, also consumes energy in a hefty amount.
Bitcoin and Ethereum are consuming so much energy that now it has become a part of a debate among some people. Since the energy consumption of these systems has risen, the prices of these virtual currencies have also gotten very high.
Vitalik Buterin (the creator of Ethereum), is trying to find out ways so the tokens can be created without requiring that much energy. He said that he’d feel unhappy if his main contribution to the world was adding Cyprus’s worth of electricity consumption to the global warming.
According to Peter Van Valkenburgh (director of research at Coin Centre), such electricity usage is really important. This argument has its essentials in the complex systems that create tokens like Bitcoin and Ether, the currency on the Ethereum network, and other new virtual currencies.
The enticement of new bitcoins is encouraging people to use fast computers and lots of electricity in order to find the right answer and to unlock new bitcoins that are distributed every 10 minutes. The process was well-defined by the original Bitcoin software, which was released in 2009.
At this time, the 12.5 bitcoins that are being distributed every 10 minutes are worth about $145,000 and people are willing to invest in it, which shows why there are huge server farms around the world that are devoted to bitcoin mining.
This process is essential for Bitcoin’s existence, as all the computers are serving as accountants for the Bitcoin network. No one can fudge the records and dominate the accounting as the mining race is meant to be really hard. According to Satoshi Nakamoto (the creator of virtual currency), the system was designed to thwart greedy attackers who might try to change the records.
Because of mining and accounting rules, the attackers have been kept away and the network is still safely going on. However, there’s been a disagreement over the original value of bitcoin and the network that supports it.
Marc Bevand (a miner and analyst) wrote in his blog that “labelling bitcoin mining as a waste is a failure to look at the bigger picture”. Although some people who are interested in all that innovation are anxious about the massive use of electricity. The concern about the use of electricity has become a subject of debate among many, however, other virtual currencies like Stellar and Ripple that were created after the Bitcoin don’t require much electricity.
The new mining process has been proposed by Mr Buterin for Ethereum. This process has been already used by some other smaller cryptocurrencies. New coins are distributed to only those people who are able to prove their ownership of existing coins. The current method totally relies on computational power and it just needs lots of computers which can play an important part in the computational race.
According to Mr Van Valkenburgh from the Coin Centre, if you want strong security at the moment, then you need proof of work.
Photo Credit : Mashable
After a series of ups and downs, bitcoin’s price went to its top. However, it plunged to less than half of that value later. The unexpected changes are now compared to the dot-com bubble and are highlighting the speculative nature of investing in cryptocurrency.
The price of bitcoin fell below $10,000 for the first, on December 1. At one point, it fell below $9,300 on one exchange. The price later rose back to almost $12,000, however, the investors and economists are still not sure how long the price will stay there. It is also said that the recent skim was due to the fear of crackdowns in the cryptocurrency markets.
South Korea has suggested a ban on the trading of cryptocurrency, although no plans are settled yet. Also, same news has been reported about China.
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency, as it is the largest and well-popular digital currency, that is globally bought and sold in exchanges.
According to Timothy Lee (senior reporter at Ars Technica), it is not based on dollars. The value of bitcoin floats against other cryptocurrencies, in the same way the euro and dollar glide against each other. Users say that bitcoin has got a very effective system for authenticating transactions, as it is based on a revolutionary technology.
Bitcoin users also point out that the currency is not tied to government’s whims and according to them, it’s a good thing. Recently the price dropped, and that may not be a good thing for those investors who are trying to figure out what crash actually means for the cryptocurrency’s future.
Recently many cryptocurrencies have shown the same swipes. According to David Kotok (Cumberland Advisors chairman and chief investment officer), almost 20 years ago, the technology and the new internet stocks accomplished valuation of $7 trillion, just because of speculation. The prices of shares used to be very high and after they collapsed, investors got badly miffed. And apparently, the same thing is going to happen with these cryptocurrencies.
Same rise and fall in the price of bitcoin was seen by the investors in December. After China announced that it was banning all the banks that were trading cryptocurrencies, bitcoin fell by 40 percent just within days after hitting a record price of almost $1,150.
There’ve been dramatic ups and downs in cryptocurrency’s price last year. Bitcoin had the value around $900 at the beginning of 2017, however, its value got tripled within few months. According to Kotok, cryptocurrencies are highly speculative and investing money in cryptocurrencies is a speculative thing to do. There’s a chance that you may make a profit, but Kotok has seen many people who invested their money into bitcoin and now they’re having loads of trouble in getting their cash back when they try to sell it.
According to some analysts, the cryptocurrency is trying to find an impermanent price floor, but according to a CNBC report, Citigroup analysts think that the price of bitcoin would plunge again to half of its current value. According to Ars Technica’s Lee, it’s still going to be unpredictable. She thinks it’ll go more up and then it’ll crash again. So, no one knows how far down it’ll decline.
Bitcoin wallets or digital wallets are the wallets that require a web browser in order to run, just like websites out there. It’s safe to say that they are pretty much similar to a website.
Surprisingly, the web wallet options are thin compared to the iPhone or Android options.
Right now, there are two Bitcoin wallets worth using. The most reliable online bitcoin wallet is Green Address.
To get a Bitcoin wallet that provided protection against cyber-attacks, GreenAddress is the way to go. GreenAddress takes cyber-attacks seriously and provides your coins protection against these attacks.
GreenAddress is a “multi-signature” Bitcoin online wallet. This implies GreenAddress shares control of your Bitcoin with you. While other online wallets are prone to cyber-attacks, GreenAddress gives genuine two-factor validation keeping your coins protected in your wallet.
SpectroCoin is London-based bitcoin wallet, exchange, debit card and merchant solution provider. It serves customers in more than 150+ nations. Right now, it encourages more than 20 types of deposits and withdrawals including bank exchanges, credit/debit cards, and cash deposits to name a few. It also gives bitcoin wallet addresses to iOS, Android and Windows Phone users.
These two are the safest online bitcoin wallets. Although these wallets provide all sorts of security, the ultimate protection comes down to the wallet owner. The best wallet security is the protection of its private key. As long as the key is unshared, chances of your coins getting stolen are very slim.
On the r/Bitcoin subreddit, it’s all about Microsoft and Bitcoin, as the tech giant apparently stopped accepting the leader cryptographic money, as per numerous top threads. One focuses on Microsoft following Steam’s footsteps in never again accepting Bitcoin. The talk comes from a Bleeping Computer article that claims the software and hardware monster halted Bitcoin payments.
On a top thread, an r/Bitcoin administrator stickied a post expressing different clients tried to discover the Bitcoin payment choice, however, were not able. His remark notes he trusts it’s “evident that little retail payments don’t bode well for Bitcoin at this moment,” and that despite the fact that everything points to the talk being valid, it is still unverified as there was no official explanation on Microsoft’s end.
Another top thread on Reddit claims Microsoft does still acknowledge Bitcoin payments, and that shills are simply endeavoring to fill the subreddit with fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD). Per this thread, Microsoft enables clients to include a predetermined measure of dollars to their balance utilizing Bitcoin, so the tech giant does indirectly acknowledge the top digital currency.
So, Does Microsoft Still Accept Bitcoin Or Not?
Chatting with Microsoft’s client support, we were told the organization no more acknowledges Bitcoin as a payment option. Eminently, the organization has apparently chosen to quit accepting the crypto money since July 2017.
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Given the unsatisfactory answer we were given, we pressed the issue and were linked to an individual from the Higher help from Microsoft’s Accounts and Billing group. He affirmed Microsoft has quit accepting Bitcoin because of “different issues we are getting with respect to it.” When pressed, he uncovered that “we have no other information on why Microsoft quit accepting Bitcoin payments besides the problems in processing the payments.”
Not The First Time:
This isn’t the first time Microsoft stopped accepting Bitcoin. The tech giant put the breaks on digital currency payment in 2016, soon after the organization’s move started making headlines, it apologized for what it deemed “inaccurate information,” and revealed that Bitcoin payments would still be accepted.
Microsoft initially began accepting Bitcoin by means of BitPay in December 2014. At the time, the move was met with huge fanbase, as the organization joined the ranks of other substantial organizations like Dell, Newegg, and TigerDirect in accepting Bitcoin.
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Image: Google images
Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency that is free from the influence of traditional banking. The currency first came into circulation in 2009 and was invented by an individual/group called Satoshi Nakamoto. The identity of the creators is still unknown.
Bitcoin exchange rates are independent. They are autonomous of the central bank and no government/private authority governs the supply of this type of currency.
The only factor that determines Bitcoin’s worth is the trust level of users. The more companies accept Bitcoin as a payment, the higher its value goes. How Bitcoin works?
What Are the Benefits of Bitcoin?
Wondering what are the advantages of Bitcoin? The list is quite long. But let’s take a look at some of the major benefits that this currency has to offer.
As the bitcoin is free of any third-party influence, there is no system to implement taxes on this money. The only form of tax that may come with bitcoins is if someone purposely sends a small percentage of payment as cash.
Free of Third Party Seizures:
Again, as there are no third-party involvements and no unnecessary copies of transactions are made, the chances of Bitcoin being seized are zero. This implies that the government can’t freeze the Bitcoin accounts and the users can do whatever they want with their money.
The Transactions Are Tracking Free:
The Bitcoin transactions are tracking free. Unless a user publicizes his wallet address, there is no way a transaction can be traced backed to him/her.
In case a user mistakenly made his wallet address public, a new wallet address can easily be generated. The benefit of keeping your wallet address a secret is that no one can ever know how much money you have in your account.
This means more privacy as compared to the traditional currency systems. You can read details about the theory behind a Bitcoin transaction.
All the Transactions Are Free of Cost:
There are no costs involved in Bitcoin transactions. Users can send/receive money in whichever part of the world they want. The only cost that may come with Bitcoin transactions is the vendor fees that they charge in return for the services they provide.
What Are the Risks of Bitcoins?
Using Bitcoins is not always safe. There are some risks associated with Bitcoin. The risks may include:
Bitcoins Are Easy to Lose:
There is not any system to recover lost bitcoins. If lost, they are gone for good. You have to be very careful to prevent your bitcoin account from hackers otherwise your account may compromised.
They are hard to trade:
Bitcoins are hard to trade as compared to transferring the normal currency. Although there are vendors that trade bitcoins, it’s not as easy as sending money via PayPal, Western Union or some other money transfer service.
Too New In The Market:
Bitcoins appeared on the radar just a few years ago, so it’s hard to predict what their future would be.
Lastly – They Can’t Be Used to Buy Stuff For Now:
Bitcoins are still not the complete replacement of real money and are only accepted at very few places as a form of payment. So, it’s still pretty hard to buy stuff using this currency.