The current price of Bitcoin (BTC) fluctuates around $7,221.98; the total market capitalization is $130,803,860,201, which makes BTC the most popular digital currency as of December 2019. The circulating supply is 18,111,912 BTC.
The all-time high of Bitcoin, $20,089.00, was reached in December 2017. The approximate ROI (return on investment) of BTC is 5,234.19%, which means that 1 BTC bought at the time of Bitcoin launch in 2013 would yield $5,234 today.
A good indication of the enormous growth of Bitcoin is the story of Laszlo Hanyecz. In 2010, on Bitcointalk.org, he happily announced having bought two pizzas for 10,000 BTC.
One of the factors that contributed a lot to the public adoption of Bitcoin was the European debt crisis of 2012-2013 when the FinCEN statements improved Bitcoin’s legal standing, and the media and Internet attention began to rise. Until then, almost all of the Bitcoin market was located in the US.
Having peaked at more than $20 000 in December 2017, Bitcoin has been since hovering around values under $10 000. The fact that more institutional investors and individuals are joining the Bitcoin user community might lead to a steady increase in Bitcoin price. However, the market is genuinely unpredictable, and the peak values of winter 2017-2018 took even the most experienced analysts by surprise.
The market is quite volatile, though, with significant events in the cryptocurrency world indirectly influencing BTC price. Although the famous John McAfee’s prediction of Bitcoin reaching $1 mln by 2020 is a little too ambitious, it is indeed expected to grow soon. Some countries like Germany, China, Tunisia, and Turkey have expressed the intention to transition towards digital coins.
A more or less realistic prediction for Bitcoin price in 2019-2025, proposed by WalletInvestor, mentions the long-term growth potential of 12.3% annually. Considering the overall increase in the Bitcoin adoption among institutional investors, the BTC price could rise up to $11,177 by the end of the year. By the end of 2020, the price could go up to $15,921. Read more
What is Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin (BTC) is the oldest and most popular cryptocurrency, with the highest market capitalization ($131.4 bln). The release of the Bitcoin code as open-source software by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 marked the creation of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is implemented in the C++ programming language, utilizes the SHA-256d hash algorithm and Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism.
Bitcoin (BTC) operates in a purely peer-to-peer network, with no trusted third party such as a central bank or single administrator. Bitcoin is created, distributed, traded, and stored with the use of blockchain – a decentralized digital ledger system. Every time a Bitcoin transaction occurs, a new block is added to the blockchain in the process called mining. Mining involves solving complex maths problems to confirm the transaction and create more BTC. The mechanism is self-sustained and straightforward, but the transaction speed is quite slow, and the use of computing power for mining is increasing rapidly.
Transactions in the Bitcoin network operate with the use of public and private keys. The public key is a lot like an ID number; its compressed form yields a bitcoin address used to receive or send BTC. On the other hand, the private key is similar to a password: without it, the owner cannot send any funds. The basis of the transaction lies in the fact that you prove to the network your ownership of the private key without revealing it. This is done with the use of both keys; the concept comes from the field of mathematics called public-key cryptography.
Another conceptual difference between Bitcoin and regular online money is that no internet connection is required to use BTC since no real-world identity is linked to it. Bitcoin has also been criticized for its high electricity consumption leading to severe environmental impact, its use in illegal transactions on the darknet, price speculations, and theft from exchanges.
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