You’ve likely heard about cryptocurrency in the past few years with Bitcoin as the first of its kind. Launched in 2009, it’s gone through several trials and encountered plenty of skepticism before reaching its current status as a potentially valuable alternative asset. Diehard enthusiasts claim that it might dismantle mainstream centralized currency.
In 2021, Bitcoin has been gaining more traction as it’s now worth more than ever before. More business and finance executives seem to be coming out every month noting that bitcoin is here to stay. People are paying attention to cryptocurrency in a new way, no longer dismissing it as a scam or fad.
But if you’re just starting to wrap your head around Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general, what do you need to know? Aside from the basics of Bitcoin, you need to be aware of the signs that point to how Bitcoin is here to stay.
1. Bitcoin is One of MANY Cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin, shortened to BTC, is widely considered to be the first cryptocurrency. There were other attempts at similar currencies before it, but they never became as viable as Bitcoin. As a result, the term “bitcoin” has become synonymous to cryptocurrency. However, there are over 1,500 cryptocurrencies that are currently live and available for trading.
2. There Are Exchanges Available Online
When you make any purchase online, you likely check out the vendor to make sure they are reputable and safe; this should be no different when it comes to purchasing cryptocurrency. You want to pick an exchange that is widely used, low in fees, and designed for active trading.
One reason why cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are so popular is because they are decentralized, unlike currencies like the U.S. dollar which are managed by a central government. However, the freedom and anonymity of a decentralized system does open the door for potential risk, unless you are an advanced user.
If you are just starting out in Bitcoin, pick a centralized exchange that implements the “Know Your Customer” rule, meaning it verifies the identities of everyone participating. This will help ensure the validity of your transaction while still allowing you to enjoy the perks of Bitcoin as an alternative asset. The existence of this sort of centralized exchange is another sign of cryptocurrency being more accepted and here to stay, as it represents an integration into existing financial systems that is incentivized by a clear and present demand.
3. More Stores Are Accepting Bitcoin as Payment
In fact, there is even a rise in the availability of Bitcoin ATMs, which allow for withdrawals of this cryptocurrency. The increased acceptance of Bitcoin as a means of payment is yet another sign of how it is here to stay and therefore worth looking into as you evaluate your finances and even round out your portfolio.
4. You Get to Pick the Type of Wallet to Store your Bitcoin
Convenience may have you keep your cryptocurrency in some hot wallet or on one of your devices, but you may consider an off-line wallet for maximum security. There is plenty of material that has recently been published that walks you through the various wallet options. The biggest potential issue with a high-security off-line wallet is the potential for losing your password and therefore access to your funds; cases of this with individuals high in crypto worth have been making mainstream news lately.
5. Bitcoin has a History of Cyclical Bull Runs
If you start learning about Bitcoin, you will hear experts referring to past bull runs — and noting that we are currently in the middle of another one. A lot of experts are now trying to estimate the potential magnitude of the current bull run, which they scrutinize in terms of how high Bitcoin is likely to go before “bottoming out” again.
With each bull run, the value of Bitcoin seems to hit much higher than the instance before. Each low has presented another massive opportunity for new crypto investors to buy in. As you read through the media coverage of Bitcoin presented by experts, keep an eye out on these sorts of high/low predictions, as they are usually accompanied by theories as to what is driving the trends. This will help you understand the types of market influences that affect Bitcoin’s pricing, and can also help you see what factors and influences are unique to this asset.