Cryptocurrency is no flash in the pan, it has been with us for over a decade now, and we can see some real success. One of the indicators of cryptocurrencies becoming a success is the scope and variety of the outlets now accepting crypto as payment. You can buy a Tesla or pay for a Burger King these days with Bitcoins, and many online payment platforms include it as a payment option alongside more established choices. We have seen major banks offering conversions from regular currencies into Bitcoin and others. With a decade of stories, both successes and failures, there are a few tales and facts that make fascinating reading from the crypto world, and here are a few of our favorites.
Buying Food (& Paying for It)
OK, on the face of it, buying food with Bitcoin doesn’t sound like much of a story. But it gets a lot more interesting when we examine the story of Laszlo Hanyecz, who was a little hungry and ordered two Papa John’s pizzas on 22nd May 2010. This story is significant in two ways; firstly, it is considered to be the first real-world example of someone ordering physical goods via a cryptocurrency. More interestingly, it’s said that he paid hundreds of millions of dollars for these pizzas. Is that true? Yes, but only in a manner of speaking; this value is what his Bitcoin would have been worth if he had kept it for the last decade and cashed in now. This story is so famous that 22nd May is now known as Pizza Day in cryptocurrency circles. This is really a story about holding out on investment than buying expensive pizzas, but in Laszlo’s defense, Bitcoin was in its infancy and was widely regarded as being low value at the time, oh to have a time machine.
We Still Don’t Know Who Satoshi Nakamoto Is?
It all began with Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious inventor of blockchain technology and the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. But we still have absolutely no idea who Satoshi Nakamoto is? We don’t even know if it’s a single person or a collective. Or, as some have suggested, a hidden arm of large tech companies; there is a theory that it is code for Samsung- Toshiba-Nakamichi-Motorola, but that is unsubstantiated. Assuming he or she is a real person, there are some things that those in the know have pieced together. Here we can find a fascinating article that uses some impressive detective work claims Hal Finney and Nick Szabo to be the most likely people to be the famous coder. They come to this assertion by analyzing old online chats going back to the 1980s and even looking at their writing style to determine the nationality of posters connected to the original Bitcoin documents.
It’s Virtually Un-Hackable (But You Are Not)
One of the principal features of cryptocurrencies is security, as blockchain technology is the perfect example of a closed system. The fact that the security is provided by the users is an ingenious method unlike anything seen before. What this means for the average user is that it is almost impossible that someone will interfere with your cryptocurrency or its transactions. This good news is also the bad news as if someone gets a hold of your crypto account, the chances of anyone being able to recover it on your behalf are close to zero. Your cryptocurrency balance is held in a wallet: software that holds the ‘keys’ to the cryptocurrency networks and your specific coins. If your wallet is hacked, even though the coins themselves cannot be and you lose the keys, you are screwed. Research where you buy Ethereum or any other cryptocurrency carefully and only use trusted wallet providers.
New Altcoins Continually Arriving on the Scene
There are thousands of cryptocurrencies in existence today, and that number is increasing all the time. There are well over 1,000 types of cryptocurrency that have already failed. Why would a cryptocurrency fail? There can be many subtleties as to why. But at the core of this is that customers have lost interest, often due to losing money. For any product to succeed there needs to be a reason for its existence beyond the creators wanting it to. We see many new cryptos falling into the trap of copying another’s success, and this will never work; why invest in a second Bitcoin, when we already have bitcoin. When confidence is lost in a currency, the value quickly enters a downwards spiral that is rarely recoverable.
It’s Still the Financial Wild West out there.
One of the defining features that have captured the public imagination is the reported fortunes that have been made in trading and investing in the cryptocurrency market. We may be seeing some of the more established cryptocurrencies becoming quite mainstream. Such as the famous Bitcoin, but as we stated in the last section, new coin denominations are emerging all the time and the volatility in price gives an opportunity for those looking for a substantial profit on the initial investment. If you back the right crypto start-up and buy-in early, then you can make a fortune. You must be aware that this is a risky strategy, as there are so many new currencies emerging all of the time, most will either fail or not be a huge success.
It’s not Completely Legal Everywhere
Often cryptocurrency is in a somewhat ambiguous legal status, sitting somewhere between legal and illegal, but certain countries have outright banned it. There is a trend for certain African countries such as Algeria and Morocco to make it illegal to hold or even trade in cryptocurrencies. Some places have had bans in place for some time, such as India. The big problem with countries trying to ban something like cryptocurrency is that it is completely digital and hard to intercept, so it’s near impossible to find out if someone is using it.