Major Changes to Bitcoin Coming Soon
Published on April 09, 2018
When Bitcoin was first introduced in 2009, it was greeted with as much excitement as skepticism, with many seeing it as the ideal currency for a new utopian society, while others saw it as just another obscure internet trend.
The very first Bitcoin transaction was initiated by Satoshi Nakamoto, who mined the first Bitcoin block, known as the Genesis Block.
Since the very beginning, Bitcoin has grown and risen in value. A great example of this can be found in one of the first known Bitcoin investments ever online when a man named Kristoffer Koch bought 5,000 Bitcoin. Koch was writing a thesis on encryption when he decided to buy 5,000 Bitcoin at a value of just $27.
It may or may not surprise you to learn that today that investment is now worth around $886,000. This is a remarkable ROI in anyone’s books, given that the investment period was a mere seven years.
Aside from the incredible investment potential that Bitcoin clearly represents, there are other factors that have a marked effect on how Bitcoin keeps growing, both in value and popularity.
Bitcoin is more than just a way to invest in a financial trend, as the world’s first-ever decentralized cryptocurrency has also opened many doors for online users.
For example, Bitcoin exists purely online, and unlike regular currencies, it is not controlled by a central source such as a bank or a government. This means that in order to buy or invest in Bitcoin, you do not need to open an account with anyone or have a certain amount of pre-existing credit.
In fact, you do not even need a bank account in order to buy Bitcoin online. All you need is an e-wallet such as Coinbase, some real money (dollars, Euros, or other terrestrial currencies), and a website that is able to sell you your first Bitcoin.
Once you’ve got that sorted, you will then be able to buy goods online, transfer funds to other Bitcoin accounts or users, and even deposit your Bitcoin into an online account.
Although Bitcoin has already undergone many changes since it’s inception, there are sure to be more to come. The changes discussed below are likely to come in the very near future.
Despite Bitcoin being one of the most decentralized “currencies” in the world, efforts are already in place to make Bitcoin “more” decentralized. The process of decentralization is done through a process called “hard fork.”
In simple terms, a Bitcoin split or hard fork is the creation of another cryptocurrency or digital currency with a price value determined by Bitcoin. To date, there have been two Bitcoin splits all done in 2017, namely Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold.
The reasoning behind splitting Bitcoin is twofold. First, it has something to do with changing how mining works. It may be due to revamping the underlying technologies or just upgrading the systems.
During the last Bitcoin split, there was a change in the ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit). The other reason is to free up the Bitcoin network so that more people have access to the cryptocurrency’s underlying technologies to easily mine the Bitcoin themselves.
The currency created from a split usually comes with the same value as that of Bitcoin, such as in the case of . In order to withdraw the newly created currency, investors need to link their wallets and withdraw from their original Bitcoin wallet.
Though there is nothing concrete to date, developments around Bitcoin and the blockchain technology show that we are headed to another hard fork soon.
The Bitcoin frenzy has engulfed the whole world, and many speculate the trend to continue in the near future.
The current average trading price of Bitcoin is around $7,000 as of April 2018, though this trading price is sure to fluctuate in the very near future.
It is also said that before year-end, Bitcoin prices will have surpassed $60,000, and by 2019, Bitcoin could easily exceed $100,000 per BTC.
The reason why some people are skeptical about Bitcoin is possibly due to the absence of regulation by most governments. However, as things stand, this will no longer be the case, as several countries are looking at ways to regulate Bitcoin.
The US, China, Japan, and Singapore have already created sub-committees in their governments with a view to assessing cryptocurrencies and how to regulate them.
In the US, authorities are concerned that Bitcoin can easily be manipulated by money launderers and terrorists to finance criminal activities, as the underlying protocols in which Bitcoin is based do not require personal verification.
With this in mind, the US wants to ensure that no avenue exists for threats to take place. In China, Japan, and Singapore, the core concern is on the illegal accumulation of capital via ICOs; therefore, all three governments have banned issuing of virtual coins. Despite this, efforts are in place to regulate Bitcoin in these regions.
In Africa, several countries have tacitly acknowledged Bitcoin, including Nigeria, Kenya, Swaziland, South Africa, Morocco, and Zimbabwe.
The central banks in these countries have come out saying that citizens ought to trade and transact using cryptocurrencies at their own risk, as they do not recognize Bitcoin as an official currency.
By allowing its people to trade at the owners’ risk, many claim that government has opened up the market for Bitcoin.
With more splits and the possibility of more governments around the globe moving to regulate this popular cryptocurrency in the very near future, Bitcoin’s future isn’t a straight path to success.
It isn’t necessarily bleak, either. Forecasts show that there are to be some bumpy rides (which is to be expected), but there are likely to be plenty of huge positives along the way, too.
Nothing is certain when to comes to the issues of finance and investment, of course, and no-one REALLY knows what’s going to happen.
Ultimately, we’re just going to have wait and see.