While the most common asked questions by most people are: “What is Bitcoin?”, “Where can I buy?” and “How do I buy?”, you already know those answers as you’re here on our website :) but we explain a bit more more about Bitcoin, in a nutshell below – and other sections in the About menu of our website.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is the world’s 1st cryptocurrency and something of a financial trailblazer. While many banks and financial sectors have been sceptical and slow on the uptake, most now finally admit that Bitcoin has changed the way the world views money. Therefore, if you want to know more about cryptocurrency, understanding Bitcoin is the first place to start.
How and when was Bitcoin started?
In 2008, a mysterious person or group of people, under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto released a paper online introducing the idea of an electronic peer-to-peer cash system. The idea was pretty innovative and the paper gained a lot of attention in the cryptography community (cryptographers are a special type of tech geek interested in encrypting sensitive information).
Then, in January 2009, Bitcoin came into being when Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first block of Bitcoin. It didn’t require stamping plants or hydraulics to mine Bitcoin, however – Bitcoins are ‘mined’ via the internet by solving complex mathematical problems, known as Cryptocurrency Mining (read more in our About section).
The bitcoin block chain - written as blockchain - is a public ledger that records bitcoin transactions. It is implemented as a chain of blocks, each block containing a hash of the previous block up to the genesis block of the chain. For more about blockhain please see our About section: Blockchain.
The reward for mining the first block was 50 Bitcoins (which wouldn’t have been worth much at the time) and it’s said that Satoshi proceeded to mine a total of 1 million Bitcoins within a year.
1 million Bitcoins? How many are available in total?
Unlike traditional currencies, but very much like gold, Bitcoin has a finite supply - it is capped at 21 million Bitcoins. The reward for mining a block, a feat which occurs roughly every 10 minutes, also decreases as we get closer to reaching the 21 million cap.
The current reward is 12.5 Bitcoins, but this reward will periodically halve in value over the next several decades. In 2020, the reward will be 6.25 Bitcoins.
This process will continue until around 2140, when it’s estimated that the last Bitcoin will be mined.
What does a Bitcoin look like?
A Bitcoin isn’t a physical thing that you can carry around with you, it’s simply a number. Most people store their Bitcoins in a Bitcoin wallet. A Bitcoin wallet isn’t the same as a normal wallet. It’s a software program that contains one or multiple ‘private keys’, which are used to access Bitcoin addresses where balances are stored.
Simply put; your unique private key proves that a certain amount of Bitcoin belongs to you - and, if you lose this private key, there’s no way to get it back!
Who is using Bitcoin?
In short; lots of different people. Not just software nerds either, but everyday consumers from all walks of life.
Some people trade Bitcoins to take advantage of the market volatility. Others are actively using Bitcoins to buy goods and services as a growing number of retailers and merchants accept them.
They’re also becoming increasingly popular in countries with a lot of political uncertainty. In Venezuela, for example, more people are turning to Bitcoin to afford basic goods in times of hyperinflation. In Catalonia, there is talk of implementing a national cryptocurrency should the region achieve independence from Spain.
To give you an idea of the scale of cryptocurrency adoption, research by Cambridge University in 2017 found that between 2.9 to 5.8 million people are using a cryptocurrency wallet, with most of them predominantly containing Bitcoin.
The reality is that the number of Bitcoin investors will grow, especially as banks wake up and their clients demand to include it as an official investment in their portfolio.
Bitcoin vs. the world?
Bitcoin is extremely volatile, which many see as an opportunity - while others see that volatility as a major risk. Bitcoin has certainly had its detractors, particularly from those in banking and government, whose whole spheres are at threat from disruption brought on by Bitcoin.
Bitcoin does face some competition from other cryptocurrencies but most in the community insist that Bitcoin will always be the most desired and valuable.
Ether, the cryptocurrency powered by the Ethereum blockchain has emerged as Bitcoin’s biggest rival but far from the value of Bitcoin it's still the best-known cryptocurrency in the world – and the most valuable!
You can read more about Ethereum in the About section of our site.
Buy Bitcoin in England UK
To buy Bitcoin in England you have choices, and we'd like you to consider buying bitcoin from us here at CCOTC from our London OTC Desk. We offer agreeable fair rates for our fast, reliable and trustworthy London based Bitcoin trading service. Just get in touch with us for all your Crypto needs - we're happy to talk with you!