Bitcoin

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Bitcoin
Bitcoin logo.svg
Prevailing bitcoin logo
Information
Purpose Currency and store of value
Tech Proof of Work
Supply ₿16,770,512 (as of 29 December 2017)
Price $7382.51 USD (5 minutes update)
Whitepaper Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

The Father of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is considered the most secure of the cryptos, partly because it has been around the longest and therefore has the most commercial proof of security, and partly because the amount of computing power and number of nodes providing the protection is the largest. It has recently implemented a software update allowing something called SegWit2x which will increase the size of the blocks (the pages in the banking analogy) from 1 to 2MB and allows the creation of “side chains” which free up room on the main blockchain and can add extra functionality such as instant transactions, easy swapping between crypto currencies and even smart contracts.

Pros

  • First mover advantage
  • Largest network effects
  • Largest due diligence around changes due to the number of stakeholders and value in the currency
  • Possible smart contracts with the implementation of RootStock

Cons

  • Disagreements between miners may cause instability.
  • Political spotlight.
  • Currencies with superior technology may overtake it in the future as it has been very slow to adapt.
  • Government may enforce regulations to prevent the conversion of FIAT to bitcoin (although this may apply to all cryptocurrencies which don’t have compliance as a central aim)
  • The transaction backlog has been growing and it is yet to be seen whether Segwit will solve the issue.
  • Possibility of a chain reaction occurring as miners switch between Bitcoin and other more profitable mined cryptos leading to longer block times, larger backlogs and uncertainty creeping in.

References

Live Chart

Market Quotes by TradingView

External links