One fine day in 2008, after the markets crashed and masses lost trust in the banking systems, Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged creator of the first ever cryptocurrency, Bitcoin who remains unknown to this day, released a white paper named “Bitcoin – A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System”. This paper contained the necessary information required to implement a peer to peer payment system. However it was not until 2 years later that a implementation became readily available and the digital coin was traded, which in turn give it some monetary value. The inception of a number of other cryptocurrencies followed as crypto started gaining popularity.
It has been more than a decade since Bitcoin made its debut and its monetary value has grown. Granted the high volatility associated with Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies has been dragging down their image, but they all do deliver the properties they are promised if transactions are carried out by using them. Bitcoin was a financial tool, that was supposed to make transactions transparent and power a trustless system, but unfortunately it was not very well received in the earlier years. There were certainly mixed feelings, with some believing it had potential to revolutionise the financial system, and some thought it to be a hoax or a scam. Today, Bitcoins price in the market is $ 3,583.87 according to the price index of BlockPublisher. Its value rose from merely a few cents to thousands of dollars in a few years, highest recorded to date, close to $20,000.
As the value climbed up, more and more investors started to eye Bitcoin and various cryptocurrencies to be profitable investment. There were early investors, or as we call them, bitcoin hoarders, who made million of dollars during the price surge of 2017. The value has sunk since, slicing down more than half of what it was worth at its highest. But analysts continue to make certain predictions, about how the currently bearish market will transform into a Bullish one, which continues to attract more investors, as prices are predicted to climb.
Amidst the chaotic market conditions, one thing that does pop into mind is that nobody knows what Bitcoin was really meant to be. Was it to be an investment tool, comparable to digital gold or was it to be used by masses to carry out everyday payments and transactions, which was made possible through the use of the decentralised ledger, blockchain?
It is Blockchain, the underlying technology of Bitcoin that enables peer to peer transactions with transparency and reliability, not to mention the security. Blockchain is the needle that stitches together decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Its utility encompasses various fields and the new use cases are introduced everyday. Where Bitcoin has failed to score a place in the hearts of many, blockchain has been victorious, making every organization in the world consider the advantageous features it has to offer. But blockchain is merely a part of Bitcoin, which makes Bitcoin only a financial tool based on blockchain.
In various parts of the world, masses are not very eager to use crypto transaction in their daily life. This is due to many of the reasons which involves, lack of regulatory framework, eruption of a new scam pertaining to cryptocurrencies every day and the lack of general knowledge about how cryptocurrencies work. All these problems have solutions. Government can take the initiative to provide regulatory framework, protective protocols can be strengthened and knowledge about cryptocurrencies can be simplified to be explained to a common man. If Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies need to shed the title of Digital Gold, cryptocurrencies need to be adopted by masses, not just to be kept to make a profit, but to actually try to survive on it by incorporating its use in daily life transactions.
The vendors and market places also need to be more crypto friendly and let their customers make payments using cryptocurrencies. There are now a number of platforms that do accept cryptocurrencies as payments. People, dubbed as cryptonomads have tried to travel on cryptocurrencies, dined on cryptocurrencies, and even traded with the locals on tour to pay for the services.
All that being said, Bitcoin and Altcoins, which are often dubbed as digital gold, can be a very profitable tool in a bullish market. It has utility as a financial tool, however it is clouded by greedy investors who view it as an investment rather than a digital currency that can actually replace the fiat and whose control will be placed in the hands of the people who use it.