Bitcoin was the first traded cryptocurrency and is the one that is most used to date. Bitcoin’s blockchain was developed in 2009 by a man or a group of people with the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, which is still considered a pseudonym with the true identity still unknown, though some names have been suggested and later discounted.
Demand for Bitcoin remains high both for buying and exchanging for other commodities such as gold. Whilst some financial experts are warning about the lack of transparency involved in Bitcoin, many believe that Bitcoin (BTC) is here to stay for the long haul.
Tracking the live price and value of Bitcoin is crucial as it is volatile, rising and falling in the market even quicker than gold and silver. For example, in January 2019 the value of Bitcoin reached a high of £3,231.00 and a low of £2,586.73.
The maximum number of bitcoins has been set at just under 21 million. Currently, there are more than 17 million in circulation. At the beginning of February 2019, a Bitcoin was worth around £2,670, putting the total value at around £45.4 billion, a massive fall from the highs of 2017, largely due to regulators appearing to warm to bitcoin. Prices fell in 2018 amid fears of a regulatory crackdown and concerns that some countries have declared Bitcoin illegal.
With such high volatility in prices, investors are wondering if the bubble has burst or the best is yet to come. ponder whether its bubble has burst, or the best is yet to come.
"Bitcoin was created to serve a highly political intent, a free and uncensored network where all can participate with equal access." — Amir Taaki, a London-based software developer and “hacker”
Even though Bitcoin is a decade old, many countries have still not agreed on rules or regulations related to the cryptocurrency. Being decentralised and anonymous has presented a legal challenge for many governments, particularly those who want to keep Bitcoin and prevent criminal transactions. Already, China and Russia have declared Bitcoin illegal, whilst it remains legal in the UK and US. For many other countries, Bitcoin remains in a legal grey area.
Bitcoin can be spent online and at select retailers in the UK. They include CEX stores, some pubs and stores with a full list of online and offline businesses that accept bitcoin available online. There are also 213 bitcoin ATMs in the UK, with 134 in London, 18 in both Manchester and Birmingham and the remainder dotted around the country.