With more users than any other digital currency, bitcoin is the most common form of cryptocurrency in the world. It is also accepted by a multitude of platforms in many different countries.
Despite this, some governments consider it illegal because they cannot protect coin holders in the event of the disappearance of bitcoins.
This can also be attributed to the reason that all governments want to have control over monetary platforms in their respective countries.
Someone or some people named Satoshi Nakamoto is supposedly the founder of bitcoin. However, there is speculation about the true identity of the individual. Some speculations have been made about this person and the origins of their name, but experts in the community have refuted many claims.
Evidence proved that he is either American or European, due to fluent English writing in his blogs and articles. Also, the time zone in which the articles were posted suggested the same.
Some other people have claimed to be the developer of bitcoin, such as Denis Steven Wright, a computer scientist and businessman from Australia.
As proof, he submitted details about the first-ever transaction that happened between Hal Finney (the first person to ever receive bitcoins) and Satoshi. But the claim is disputed by users within the bitcoin community. Some view this evidence as proof that he was somehow involved the first transaction.
In some cases, there is speculation that Finney is indeed Satoshi Nakamoto, since they both lived in the same town. He, however, refuted the claim.
After all, coins are mined; the number will be approximately 21 million. According to trusted sources, as of July 17 2016, the number of coins in existence was slightly more than 15.7 million.
These figures arrived after the computation of transaction outputs, found in system databases and verified transactions.
Just by having the bitcoin address, it is impossible to tell the particulars of the recipient even by name. The main reason is that the address is composed of alphanumeric characters which are about 34 characters long.
Then, unlike in other platforms where the name of the individual is displayed, the same does not occur in sending/receiving bitcoins. Perhaps this is the reason why most illegal transactions occur by using bitcoins.
Also, most wallet programs will assign you with a portfolio ID, which is then used as your username—instead of giving you a username or letting you choose a username which may be similar to your own name. This further improves the aspect of privacy.
Dark web users prefer bitcoin as a mode of payment because there is no evidence that a purchase has taken place. The items purchased may include drugs, weapons, counterfeit products and thus the reason to stay anonymous since it further complicates the tracking procedure and one can easily remain in the run.
It is nearly impossible to find a vendor on the dark web who will accept other payment platforms, since it will expose their doings to a greater extent
For those in the United States, Microsoft began accepting payment for its products and services through bitcoins.
However, this can result in a situation where those who get paid by bitcoins for selling illegal products find their way to “cleanse” the money perhaps through buying and re-selling legitimate items.
At the time of writing this article in May 2017, bitcoin has made significant strides. It grew to a record high never seen before just this year.
Because governments always want to have control over monetary institutions within their countries, many have discouraged the use of bitcoin because it alludes to a sort of peer-to-peer transaction.
Their argument is that they cannot protect individuals in the event the Blockchain is down, causing the disappearance of coins. Of course, they would want a scenario similar to that of the banking industry, but this cannot happen in a Blockchain system.
Unlike other platforms such as PayPal, it is impossible to facilitate a reversal of a bitcoin transaction. This is one reason why most individuals involved in illegal goods and services prefer using bitcoin as the only payment option.
All transactions that happen in bitcoin are available in the Blockchain, thus bringing some level of transparency since any interested party can view what is taking place.
Also, one can check the status of their transaction if there are delays, since at times miners take quite some time to process bitcoin transfers.
About a year after the inception of the bitcoin, the first-ever recorded purchase using the currency was at a pizza store. The buyer used Bitcoins he mined with his computer to make the purchase. At that time, the price of the pizza was $25 USD.
If the transaction were made today, the pizza would have been considered to be the most expensive pizza, running into millions of dollars.
Yes, loosing possession of bitcoins is indeed possible. This kind of situation can happen if an individual has lost their wallet and they can’t remember the details they used in the registration process. As such, cold storage in the form of hardware wallets are used by savvy users to enhance security. You can find hardware wallet vendors here.
The control of bitcoin falls under the users of the platform, and thus no single entity or government can claim to own or control the digital currency.
The primary mode of getting bitcoins is through mining. Bitcoin mining involves solving complex mathematical problems and afterward, one gets rewards in the form of BTC.
The reward halves after a period of four years. For example, it was 50 BTC, then 25 BTC and the current value is 12.5 BTC. The flow follows a geometric progression which is halved and is expected to decline to 6.25 then 3.125 until all bitcoins are fully mined.
Mining is harder and harder and involves getting the latest gear with the best computer power. Cloud Mining exists as companies build huge mining warehouses and offer mining services to people who do not want to run their own rigs at home.