Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of bitcoin, released the bitcoin whitepaper 9 years ago, on October 31. Since then, based on every indicator imaginable, bitcoin has evolved into a major global currency, store of value, and safe haven asset.
The Bitcoin network was officially launched in 2009, when Nakamoto mined the first bitcoin block. But, the whitepaper of bitcoin was released in October of 2008, months after Nakamoto acquired Bitcoin.org.
Within 9 years since its introduction, bitcoin has become a major store of value through rapid adoption and growth rate in major regions such as Japan, the US, South Korea, and Hong Kong. The trading volume of bitcoin has surpassed $2 billion and has sometimes peaked to $4 billion, surpassing the trading volume of Apple, the world’s most liquid stock.
In several countries like Japan and the Philippines, bitcoin has been recognized as a legitimate remittance payment system, money, and currency. Earlier this year, the Japanese government also recognized cryptocurrency and bitcoin exchanges as legitimate financial service providers. Consequently, some of the largest companies in their respective industries such as Japan’s largest budget airline Peach, major budget hotel chain operator Capsule, and leading electronics retailer Bic Camera have integrated bitcoin as a payment method.
How Has Bitcoin Evolved into a Global Currency in a Short Period?
As a technology, bitcoin is only 9 years old. Earlier this month, CCN.com published an article entitled “Tech Sector Called Amazon a Bubble Since 1997; Bitcoin Sees Same Trend,” which extensively delved into the technology sector’s dismissive attitude towards Amazon and its business model. In fact, even up until 2016, many analysts described Amazon as a bubble and an unsustainable business.
However, Amazon evolved into a $533 billion within 20 years since its launch in 1997, with extremely successful cloud computing services, e-commerce marketplace, and retail services.
Bitcoin has seen a similar trend. But, it is a technology and a financial network that is much younger than Amazon and hence, at an earlier development stage. Still, the adoption rate of bitcoin has exceeded the expectations of most analysts and investors of bitcoin, primarily due to the support of governments like Japan.
In the upcoming months, by the end of 2017, the number of institutional and retail investors in bitcoin is expected to surge, considering the launch of bitcoin futures by CME Group, the largest options exchange in the world, and the possibility of bitcoin ETFs being approved by the SEC.
Bitcoin is Better Than Gold
As of current, the bitcoin market is at an early phase because of the lack of institutional investors in the market. Investors with tens of billions of dollars to invest in a single asset cannot look into a $100 billion market and put in large sums of capital due to liquidity issues. In the near future, such problems could be resolved through futures and options trading.
Bitcoin has turned 9 and already, it is recognized as a leading digital currency, safe haven asset, and digital gold. Several experts including billionaire investor Peter Thiel and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak have stated that bitcoin has become a better store of value than gold by nearly any measure, which could include transportability, ownership, and liquidity.
”There is a certain finite amount of bitcoin that can ever exist. Gold gets mined and mined and mined. Maybe there’s a finite amount of gold in the world, but Bitcoin is even more mathematical and regulated and nobody can change mathematics,” said Wozniak.
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