What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a decentralized peer-to-peer payment system. The Bitcoin whitepaper was first released towards the end of 2008 when its anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, sent it to some recipients on a cryptography mailing list. On the 3rd of January 2009, the first block of the blockchain ledger was mined by Nakamoto and the bitcoin network was brought into existence.
Bitcoin adopts certain processes that distinguish it from fiat currencies. Chances are, when you first heard about cryptocurrencies, the first familiar word you heard was bitcoin.
How Bitcoin stands out from other Cryptocurrencies
- The First Cryptocurrency to go Mainstream: It’s most distinguishing feature is perhaps the fact that it was first to market. It laid the foundation for the creation of other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, XRP, Ethereum and 2,164 others.
- First to Introduce Blockchain Technology: Bitcoin runs on a sophisticated technology called blockchain. This technology disrupting industries beyond digital currency. From education to politics, the decentralized ledger has transformed how record keeping is done in various industries across the globe.
- Anonymous Creator(s): Unlike bitcoin, other types of digital currency like ethereum, ripple and bitcoin cash can be traced to their creators. In the Bitcoin’s case the creator(s), Satoshi Nakamoto, has maintained complete anonymity before and after his “disappearance” in 2009. While there are dozens of opinions against his anonymity, critics and analysts alike have alluded the huge success of bitcoin to the anonymity of its creator. The fact that it can’t be traced to one single person or group of people is a major distinguishing factor.
- Number of Users: Bitcoin has the largest number of users. A recent report from Bitcoin Market Journal revealed that there are 7.1 million active bitcoin users, and almost 32 million bitcoin wallets had been set up as at December 2018.
- The first digital currency asset that most people opt for: Bitcoin is the first digital currency that most people buy, most likely as a result of its popularity. Even when they buy other cryptocurrencies, they still own some bitcoin. This is because most people are familiar with it. So, if you’re a newbie, you might want to consider starting with Bitcoin.
- Becoming a widespread payment option: Initially, bitcoin was used for illegal transactions online which came to light in the Silk road saga. The silk road was an online black market, famous for selling illegal drugs. Hundreds of illegal transactions were made daily under the anonymity bitcoin transactions offer. Today, Bitcoin is fast becoming a payment option for more merchants and is shedding its initial negative perception.
- More Use Cases: Bitcoin’s utility continues to climb. Ethereum also has a lot of ground-breaking potential, but bitcoin has expressed some of its own utility in practical terms. Which is why it has drawn a lot of attention and why its value continues to rise in the market