In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto, since recognized as a pseudonym, publicly released the bitcoin software as a means to protect against inflation, provide security, and put the control of money in the hands of the people. While the idea of cryptocurrency has long been discussed, it wasn’t until 2009 that it became more than a concept. Bitcoin may have been the software that began the evolution of cryptocurrency, but it wasn’t long before alternative currencies were developed to address perceived issues with the original cryptocurrency.
At its birth, one Bitcoin was estimated to be worth $0.00001. Today, one Bitcoin costs approximately $4,000.
While it’s worth continues to increase, Bitcoin is yet to be recognized by financial industries around the world. Very few countries recognize it as a payment option, making it less imperative for international conversations to be had about the acceptance of cryptocurrency. However, cryptocurrency’s popularity continues to grow in countries like China, Ecuador, Singapore, Sweden, and more. While these digital currencies may not be recognized at a national or international level, its popularity has increased its acceptance with retailers and services. As more companies accept the currency, and more people invest, the market value continues to increase. In the next year or so, the market value of cryptocurrency is expected to reach $1 trillion.
From Amazon purchases to Starbucks runs, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are used far more often than the average person would know. Bitcoin has been used to purchase everything from real estate to automobiles (this is a mark of success in Singapore). Just as Apple pay or debit cards with chips became a mainstream form of payment, cryptocurrency also has the potential to become another mainstream method.
While its name is largely associated with cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was simply the first to convey the developing value of cryptocurrency to the world, leading to the emergence of many different currencies, such as Altcoin.
Created during one of America’s biggest financial crises, cryptocurrency has materialized as a solution to avoid the same mistakes that led to the economic downfall. Although it is currently considered too volatile to compete with fiat, cryptocurrency will continue to improve and expand within countries around the globe, ultimately working to gain international recognition as an accepted form of payment.