The name people think about most often when it comes to the subject of crypto currency obviously is Bitcoin. In its short history, the novel online currency has gained as much attention for its mysterious beginnings as it has for its meteoric rise.
Bitcoins mystery is rooted by the ambiguity of its creator, who goes under the name Satoshi Nakomoto. To this day nobody knows who or what Satoshi is, there are those who think he is just one brilliant guy, and then those who think it may be a team or even a government. What people do know is that the coins creation was the result of an algorithm that grows more and more complex with the addition of every newly mined Bitcoin.
Created in 2009, Bitcoin existed in relative obscurity, often relegated to off the book transactions on the ‘dark web’ in an effort to evade authorities. That is until 2011, when the global currency crisis reared its head. For many citizens in European countries who were being threatened with bank freezes, Bitcoin offered a way out of governmental interference. In a short period of time the currency went from .28 on the dollar in January of 2011 all the way up to $1147 during the European Credit Crisis settling today somewhere around $511.
The benefit of Bitcoin against other currencies is that it can be traded instantaneously for a very low cost of service, and cannot be taxed by the government. Production of Bitcoin is finite, which means it cannot be overproduced and overvalued. In addition to not being overvalued, Bitcoins value cannot be artificially inflated due to a key feature, ‘block train’. Block train is an innovation that came out of the computing process, and is essentially a historical database for every Bitcoin produced. What this means is that for every purchase, that user can trace that specific coin right down through its history and know what it was valued at for each and every transaction.
Of course there are downsides too. For one, although block chain is a great method for monitoring each coins value, there also are issues regarding privacy rights. Then there is the problem of transaction of a currency that still survives of the fringes of the mainstream. And of course as with any currency, there is the problem of regulation. In the case of Bitcoin it is particularly delicate subject because its the lack of regulation that inspired so much of its success.
Considering this uncertainty, the question remains to be seen if Bitcoin will continue its rise on the world market, and if it not, will there be another alternative currency to replace it?
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One thing the Bitcoin's success has done is force the mainstream media to acknowledge it, in turn creating more exposure to the nature of online currencies.
This has resulted in a bed of startup crypto currencies. More importantly these new currencies are following every move made by Bitcoin be it positive or negative. History has proven this free-market type of growth only causes competition to become more and more efficient. Although many of these currencies are in their infancy, they have a stronger foundation to build on with more data and information.
Currently there are over 900 cyrpto-currencies that are being traded on markets. For the sake of time, lets look at a list of the top 10. if you happen to have the time, I will include a link to all 913 coins.
o BitShares X