Bitcoin: The Digital Gold
If you’re looking to develop an informative discourse about bitcoin and get to know more about it, then you’ve definitely come to the right place!
This article is part of my public speaking class and has the structure of an informative speech. I look forward to seeing you benefit from it.
Have you ever imagined a world without cash? Literally, without banks having to print any paper money? Have you ever imagined that we could send and receive money without going through banks, the trusted third parties that ensure the security of transactions and our data? Is this even possible? Have you guessed what I’m going to talk about?
If you haven’t already guessed, the topic I’m talking about is the so-called crypto-currencies and more specifically the very first crypto-currency to exist: Bitcoin. I’m sure you’ve all at one time or another seen news such as Tesla buying $1.5 billion in bitcoins or Donald Trump tweeting about bitcoin or a given country announcing that all crypto-currency transactions are illegal, which is the same as banning bitcoins. Or another country announcing that it accepts bitcoin payments.
Yet, it is one of the hottest, most controversial and trending topics we hear about every day. Let me share with you some interesting must-know facts that I discovered while working as an intern in the field of blockchain, the very same technology bitcoin is based on. Today, I’m going to walk you through some of these facts, but first, we’re going to start by looking at the history behind the invention of bitcoin.
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On October 31, 2008, the white paper that first introduced bitcoin was circulated on a mailing list for people with an interest in cryptography. “I have been working on a new electronic money system that is entirely peer-to-peer, with no trusted third parties,” writes Satoshi Nakamoto, the so-called creator of bitcoin.
Back in 2007–2008, the year of the global meltdown, the financial crisis and the failure of several U.S.-based banks, such as the iconic U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings, shook people’s confidence in banks and led to the birth of bitcoin. In short, bitcoin presents itself as a new way for people to send and receive money over the Internet. An alternative payment system that would operate without central control, based on a decentralized network with a transparent set of rules, offers more security and is less vulnerable to hacker attacks. Andreas M. Antonopoulos, in her book Mastering Bitcoin, defines it in four elements: A decentralized peer-to-peer network, a public transaction ledger, consensus rules and a mechanism for reaching global decentralized consensus on the valid blockchain.
With that being said, in its first few months of existence, bitcoin was worthless, until the famous pizza day. On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 BTC, now worth about $415 million, for two Papa John’s pizzas. This was the first commercial transaction in Bitcoins that gave it a monetary value and is now commemorated every year by Bitcoin Pizza Day.
Last but not least, let me bring to your attention some other interesting points. Bitcoin first started trading from around $0.0008 and reached an all-time high price of $64,863 on April 14, 2021. Bitcoin offers low transaction fees, faster processing, and a better traceability, which increases financial inclusion and overcomes the lack of social trust. Paul Vigna in his book The Age of Cryptocurrency, says that we have an opportunity to reform the financial system, to turn it into the public utility that it’s supposed to be.
The market capitalization size of bitcoin is worth 804,999,146,208.95 USD. Around 20% of Bitcoin has been lost forever. And the last Bitcoin will be mined in 2140 according to the Coindesk platform — The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency.
In conclusion, bitcoin or what we call digital gold and crypto-currencies, in general, is the monetary revolution of the 21st century and represent a new path for the financial system. And yeah, as of September 2021, there are more than 6,500 cryptocurrencies in existence.
Hopefully, you have enjoyed learning all these facts about bitcoin! And that you now have a clearer picture of its beginnings and evolution.
Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper | Satoshi Nakamoto Institute
I've been working on a new electronic cash system that's fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party. The paper is…
“How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order” Paul Vigna. January 27, 2015
“Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain” Andreas M. Antonopoulos. December 2014