When most people hear the word “cryptocurrency,” their first thought is often Bitcoin. The original coin on the market, it still dominates, even with other tokens gaining ground. As Bitcoin exploded and it became clear that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology were here to stay, it was the first token many merchants began accepting as payment. It is now its own form of currency worldwide, useful in investing, and of course, paying for goods and services, like your next Microsoft Office suite or Bjork’s latest album. Some retailers accept it and the list is growing. You can even turn your fiat currency (US Dollars, Euros, etc.) into coins (BTC) at Bitcoin ATM machines worldwide!
With its roots in the democratization of financial systems, taking the power of money out of the hands of an elite few and putting it back into the control of the people, any changes to Bitcoin’s structure is voted on by the community. Only a consensus can trigger changes. This ensures that governments or leaders of the program can’t make unilateral choices that affect everyone who holds or accepts the coin. Bitcoin has stayed true to this operational commitment.
The creator of Bitcoin, the anonymous person or group of persons called Satoshi Nakamoto, set a cap of Bitcoins with a strict structure for how many can be mined, or released, per year. Experts estimate that the last coin will be mined in 2040. This helps create stability and scarcity, which helps protect the value. As other coins join the market and fade away, Bitcoin has remained a solid force, withstanding market growing pains and continuing to fulfill its purpose.