Bitcoin: the original mascot for how cryptocurrencies. Invented by Satoshi Nakamoto via the 2010 Bitcoin Whitepaper, which is generally accepted as the first use of a blockchain technology. Bitcoin does just about everything that the thousands of jenny-come-lately cryptocurrencies claim to do, but better.
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Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency that works on the decentralized peer-to-peer Bitcoin network. Transactions of Bitcoin are verified using network nodes and are recorded on a blockchain, a public distributed ledger. Bitcoin relies on cryptography other than central authorities to conduct transactions. Though Bitcoin is not the first digital currency, it is responsible for the popularization of it.
The term Bitcoin was first registered as a domain name in January 2008. A white paper using the name Bitcoin was published in October 2008. The whitepaper described Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer Electronic cash system. The author of the paper is a person named Satoshi Nakamoto. He published the whitepaper anonymously and has remained anonymous, even after Bitcoin became a landmark of what cryptocurrency could achieve.
The Bitcoin network was launched on 3rd January 2009. Satoshi Nakamoto mined the genesis block of Bitcoin, referred to as block number 0 that had a reward of 50 bitcoins. The block had a text referring to the instability of relying on traditional banks. The text is considered a time marker for the operational beginning of Bitcoin.
The first transaction of Bitcoin was between Satoshi Nakamoto and Bitcoin supporter Hal Finney for 10 Bitcoin on 12th January 2009. Nakamoto is rumored to have mined around 1 million Bitcoin before removing himself fully from the involvement with Bitcoin. Gavin Anderseen took over and became Bitcoins lead developer. He was the closest Bitcoin had come to have a public face.
## **Biggest Claim to Fame**
Bitcoin was responsible for the popularization of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin was formed in a time where digital currency was struggling to get a foothold in the financial markets. Bitcoin answered the questions cryptocurrency uses would need before they realized they needed to ask them. This ensured people were comfortable enough to put their money into it. Other cryptocurrencies were built around the issues people had with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is easy to liquidate. The value of Bitcoin is easy to gauge which makes it easy to trade it for other cryptocurrencies or traditional currency. The currency is well known so people are willing to buy and sell using it. The currency has also lasted longer which makes it easier to trust it. Bitcoin has been accepted as a currency by many traditional banks and institutions and is considered an acceptable cryptocurrency to transact with and exchange. This puts it over many of the cryptocurrencies available today.
Although it is a public blockchain, Bitcoin users keep more privacy compared to traditional bank users. Although transactions are permanently viewable, only the wallet owner can know how much they have in their Bitcoin wallet which adds an element of safety and privacy to transactions. In case the wallet address is made public, a new wallet address can be processed so information can be kept safe
## **Biggest Criticisms**
The value of Bitcoin has gone up too high to use in normal everyday transactions. Though Bitcoin was originally designed to be a medium of exchange, the increase in demand has driven the cost up too high to carry out smaller purchases. Bitcoin is these days considered a store of value other than a free-to-use currency. Satoshi Nakamoto intended for it to be used as a normal currency but that is not a viable option anymore.
Bitcoin is very popular among people in need of illegal transactions. This in turn has made anyone with official use for Bitcoin, like governments and businesses, to prefer traditional financial methods. Due to its lack of involvement with the government and low to no interactions with tax agencies, Bitcoin is used whenever currency that does not have a legal explanation needs to be moved around.
Bitcoin wealth is highly concentrated. 0.01% of the people that hold bitcoin hold 27% of the currency that is currently in circulation. This has been a long-standing issue in most cryptocurrencies since having such a small percentage of users holding such a high amount of currency would allow them to manipulate the market as they wish which is against the basic principles behind the cryptocurrency.
The mining of Bitcoin influences the environment negatively. The energy needed to mine Bitcoin produces a lot of environmental waste from both the production of the electricity it uses and the electronic waste in things like computers and microchips. This has caused criticism to the platform.
Gavin Anderseen is a developer known from his involvement with Bitcoin. He was promoted by Satoshi Nakamoto to be the lead developer of Bitcoin client software after Nakamoto announced he was leaving. He was the public face of Bitcoin for a long time. He has not been involved in Bitcoin since 2016 and he lost access to the Bitcoin core on Github in the same year after supporting claims of Craig Wright being Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin is one of the strongest cryptocurrencies available today. It has lasted for so long and has maintained its value over time even through rises and dips in cryptocurrency value. It is an expensive investment but a good one due to this maintenance of value.