What is Cryptocurrency?

Bitcoin, bitcoin, bitcoin. Everywhere you look, be it the news or social media, people are talking about cryptocurrency. While it has been gaining popularity recently, cryptocurrency has actually been around since 2009!

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Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, was founded in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, an alias for the real inventor of the famous cryptocurrency. Since then, millions of people have bought and sold the cryptocurrency, helping to drive its value up.

For the most part, cryptocurrencies are highly decentralized, meaning no single entity controls or oversees the transactions made by each respective currency. Conversely, the US Dollar is regulated by the United States Treasury Department. Instead of relying on a single entity for oversight, cryptocurrencies rely on the blockchain, which is a public ledger of all transactions made. 

Cryptocurrency supporters view decentralization as key towards ensuring a more level financial playing field while cryptocurrency opponents view decentralization as providing a backdoor for illegal and nefarious transactions. 

Over the past year, cryptocurrencies have experienced meteoric rises in their value. Bitcoin has rallied from $7,000 to nearly $60,000 — almost an 800% gain. These massive increases have brought the collective value of all cryptocurrencies to more than two trillion dollars.

In late March, Tesla announced that customers can now purchase their vehicles using Bitcoin. Also, PayPal and Visa have announced new Bitcoin offerings that allow consumers to buy and sell the currency.

Even as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining traction, skeptics doubt how influential they will be in the future. Some believe that Bitcoin will eventually replace the United States Dollar as the main form of payment while others believe it is a fad and will eventually become irrelevant.

Only time will tell if Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will become a major part of the world’s financial system. Until then, it appears the dollar is here to stay!