With the development of technology, almost any sphere of life evolves and gets more advanced – handwritten letters are replaced by instant electronic messages, printed books compete with e-books, even ordinary cash payments can be made from the comfort of your home via e-banking. Everything goes digital.
In 2009, the world saw the birth of a new technological phenomenon – Bitcoin. The idea of a cryptographically secure peer-to-peer currency had much appeal to the general public and since then has been occupying the minds of many investors. What makes cryptocurrency a unique investment asset? And why are so many people willing to buy Bitcoin nowadays? Let’s see.
Any valuable investment asset should possess 5 key properties – scarcity, security, divisibility, mobility, and genuineness. Bitcoin ticks all the boxes!
Many experts consider the limitation of the number of Bitcoins a positive growth factor determining the value of the cryptocurrency for years to come. Bitcoin was designed to never surpass the supply in 21 million coins. Now it has already overstepped the mark of 17 million, meaning that Bitcoin’s supply is running out. On the global scale, it may seem like a small amount, but this is something that certainly adds to Bitcoin being so valuable in the eyes of investors.
A limited supply of Bitcoins really becomes a reliable tool against depreciation of the digital money. However, what is seen as a blessing may turn into a blast just as well. This is the case with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is intangible, and the only way you can prove your ownership of coins is to have a private key for the wallet you store them in. In principle, cryptocurrency wallets do not allow you to restore the private key; if you lose it – you will lose all your Bitcoins as well. These coins will be simply as good as gone, in fact, they will come out of use. According to some reports, 4 million tokens have been already inactive – they are lost forever and will never be retrieved. This implies that Bitcoin is even more scarce than gold.
Scarcity makes Bitcoin deflationary, and thus contributes to the increase in its price – at least this is what many investors rely on.
Bitcoin is decentralized; it does not belong to any of the governments or centralized authorities. The only entity that has a direct control over the user’s Bitcoins is the user himself (until he owns the private key). You can spend or transfer Bitcoin only if you possess the appropriate keys with which transactions are signed.
In essence, Bitcoin operates under a unique cryptographically protected protocol that is almost impossible to undermine. Transaction data on each Bitcoin in circulation is recorded in blockchain and distributed across all the nodes on the network. These nodes also act as validators of the Bitcoin transactions. Once the data record is tampered with, the transaction won’t be verified by the nodes. This validation algorithm makes the Bitcoin network transparent and self-policing.
However, as Bitcoin increases in value, so does the number of cyber attacks on Bitcoin wallets and exchanges. To avoid losing your Bitcoin funds, make sure to not store them within online wallets that are particularly vulnerable to hacks. A hardware wallet is probably the best choice here.
Remember, in the case of Bitcoin, you are the bank who is in charge of the funds!
Another reason that makes Bitcoin a friendly investment is divisibility. Have you ever had a chance to invest in a fraction of gold bullion? Probably, not. It just makes no economic sense. From the objective point of view, gold bullion, real estate, stocks or futures can’t simply be divided into tiny units, whereas Bitcoin can.
At present, the smallest unit of Bitcoin is Satoshi. This is one hundred millionth of Bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC) or $0.00005988, according to the current BTC to USD rate. Looks affordable enough, doesn’t it?
In fact, you can store billions of dollars in Bitcoin with no need for special vaults or deposit boxes. Cryptocurrency is an easily portable investment unit – all you need is a wallet that may come in the form of a software app, memory stick or simply a piece of paper.
You can also send them all to anyone half the world away in a matter of minutes – much like an e-mail. Previously, this was impossible to perform without the participation of intermediaries.
Moreover, people traveling abroad know perfectly well that there are usually restrictions on the import of currency. Once you go beyond the limit, you will have to disclose the origin of this money and prove your ownership. Let alone export or import of gold. Transferring precious metals across the border is an expensive and risky venture.
Bitcoin excludes all these disadvantages from the list as it is not regulated by international law so far.
Bitcoin’s genuineness can hardly be debated. With its birth, the community was introduced to an innovative concept of money that heralded a new era of the crypto economy, free from third-party intervention or backing. The underlying principle of decentralization grants users with financial freedom and brings money under control of people rather than financial institutions.