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“Bitcoin is a remarkable cryptographic achievement and the ability to create something that is not duplicable in the digital world has enormous value.” Eric Schmidt, Executive chairman Alphabet
Bitcoin is a digital, decentralized, partially anonymous currency, not backed by any government or other legal entity, and not redeemable for gold or other commodity. It relies on peer-to-peer networking and cryptography to maintain its integrity. Its proponents argue that Bitcoin has many properties that could make it an ideal currency for mainstream consumers and merchants. For example, bitcoins are highly liquid, have low transaction costs, can be used to send payments quickly across the internet, and can be used to make micropayments. This new currency could also hold the key to allowing organizations such as Wikileaks, hated by governments, to receive donations and conduct business anonymously.
Amazingly, as of October 2011, a bitcoin (currency ticker BTC) is worth about two U.S. Dollars (USD), there are about $20 million worth of bitcoins in existence, there are probably around 20,000 Bitcoin users, and over $300,000 worth of bitcoins are traded every day.
Although the Bitcoin economy is flourishing, users are anxious about Bitcoin’s legal status and the possibility of a government crackdown. Some point to Bitcoin’s ability, like all digital and anonymous currencies, to facilitate money laundering, tax evasion, and trade in illegal drugs and child pornography. Indeed, the U.S. government prosecuted and shut down the creators of e-gold, a digital currency backed by gold, under state and federal laws for conspiracy to commit money laundering, and also for providing services to those involved in “child exploitation, credit card fraud, and wire (investment) fraud”. Others point to governments’ purported interests in protecting their economies and monopolies on minting new money. These individuals point to the successful prosecution and conviction of the creator of the Liberty Dollar, a paper and coin based currency backed by gold and other precious metals.
Hence, no faith or trust towards the financers or politicians was required in case of Bitcoin, but only in Nakamoto’s well-designed algorithms. Not only the public ledger of Bitcoin, i.e. the ‘block chain’ seemed to fend off fraud, but also kept the money supply of Bitcoin growing at a predictable rate due to the prearranged release of the virtual currency. The Bitcoin network came into existence with the release of open source Bitcoin client and with the issuance of the first Bitcoin. Satoshi mined 18 the first 50 Bitcoin which are famously known as the “Genesis Block”.
In the same year the exchange rate of Bitcoin was first published by liberty standard at $1 for 1,309.03 BTC. Within a couple of years, around February 2011, Bitcoin achieved dollar parity and was now being accepted all over the world as a mode of payment for a plethora of products.