As Bitcoin becomes more famous, and as more people begin to invest in it, many are asking the question, what’s the difference between a cryptocurrency and a normal (terrestrial) currency?
Traders are seeing bearish sentiments within cryptocurrency markets as more than 60 percent of the top digital assets are seeing losses. BTC/USD markets are hovering just above the $7,800 region after losing momentum at the $8K zone during today’s early morning trading sessions. BTC global trade volume stands at only a few million units lower than duing our last analysis, as the past 24-hours has seen about $5.2Bn in trades.
Last year marked what can arguably be described as the single greatest performance for an asset class in history. The aggregate market cap of all virtual currencies soared from just $17.7 billion to around $613 billion over 12 months, representing a better than 3,300% increase in value. By comparison, the stock market has historically returned about 7% per year, inclusive of dividend reinvestment and when adjusted for inflation.
At the center of this rally is bitcoin, the world’s most valuable token by market cap. Even though bitcoin rose by a more “pedestrian” 1,364% in 2017, the gain in value for its token since it began trading in 2010 is unparalleled. Between March 2010 and December 2017, bitcoin launched from $0.003 (less than a third of a penny) to approximately $20,000 per token. Had you thrown $1,000 into bitcoin in March 2010 and held, you’d be a multibillionaire.
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In January, an unknown company working in the blockchain space purchased 67,000 acres at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in Nevada, right next to Tesla’s Gigafactory. At the end of February, a Utah-based company called Power Block Coin LLC announced a plan to invest $251 million over the next three years in Butte, Montana, to build a campus of mining data centers.
Bitcoin (BTC) currently boasts a circulating supply of around 16,903,500 virtual units. The maximum supply is capped at 21 million Bitcoin – but that won’t happen for many years. Based on the current price of around $11,025 per unit (this figure can fluctuate wildly from day-to-day), the market capitalization of Bitcoin is around $186.362 billion. Granted, that’s a far cry from the market capitalization of Bitcoin in December 2017 when it topped out around $20,000 per unit. If we assume the current circulating supply, that translates into around $338 billion at its zenith.
In a cryptocurrency market dominated by an estimated 1,541 digital currencies spread across 9,122 markets, Bitcoin is still a power player. Consider that it now accounts for a whopping 41.8% of the market. This figure was dropping sharply as competing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Dash, Litecoin, Ripple, and even Raiblocks gained the attention of crypto traders. The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is now $446.368 billion – significantly lower than the December high.
This begs the question: Have traders missed out on the Bitcoin boom?
My father does not want to trust Bitcoin
Facebook recently banned ads linked to certain financial practices and services, such as initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencies. Although the site clarified it wanted to continue to be a place where people can learn about new products, it said it did not want to perpetuate those intended to mislead or deceive.
The announcement from Facebook also stated there are many entities advertising banned things that are “not currently operating in good faith.” The company knows that this new development is broad and says its scope is intentional.
However, it noted there would be ongoing efforts to revisit the policy and potentially change its enforcement as the site gets better at detecting ads that have no place there as far as Facebook’s rules go.
Just like a hiker hoofing up and down across a jagged mountain range, anyone who follows the price of Bitcoin is probably getting pretty tired. From a high of over $19,000 in December of last year to around $10,000 today, the price has been changing so quickly that any news coverage of it is quickly out of date.
Cryptocurrency bag holders often boast that their network transaction speeds are faster than mainstream payment methods, such as Visa or Paypal. As cryptocurrencies continue to rise in popularity, it will be important to determine which blockchain payment networks could eventually become the “new Visa.” While both sides continue to debate their arguments, we jumped through the hard data and created a unique visual to highlight transaction speeds across several different payment networks.