Latest BTC Trends in 2023
- Bitcoin Ordinals (NFTs) and BRC-20 tokens open up new ways to use the Bitcoin network using inscriptions, a recent innovation that enables data storage on the Bitcoin blockchain.
- About 1 million Bitcoin wallets now hold 1 BTC or more.
- BTC sees its price double from recent lows. After BTC fell into the $15,000 range during the FTX dropout, BTC has traded in a range to nearly double that price by 2023.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer electronic money system, as described in the now famous Bitcoin White Paper. Founded in 2009, Bitcoin was the first of today’s cryptocurrencies and later inspired projects such as Ethereum and thousands of other crypto projects.
In the early days, Bitcoin traded for a fraction of a cent. By 2022, BTC had reached an all-time high of nearly $70,000. Many are predicting new all-time highs yet to come, while others are more bearish about Bitcoin’s future.
While today’s crypto market offers thousands of other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is still in a league of its own, topping the charts with the largest market cap and best name recognition worldwide.
In addition to being the first of today’s digital currencies, Bitcoin is also seen by many as the most secure crypto network, largely due to Bitcoin’s wide mining network and steadfast commitment to proof-of-work as a consensus method to validate transactions. .
Like most other cryptocurrencies, the Bitcoin network works like a public ledger. For standard transactions, it is trivial to see which wallet sent Bitcoin to which wallet, how much and when the transaction took place.
Bitcoin is designed to be money, a verifiable and secure way to send value from person A to person B. But new developments such as inscriptions (data storage) bring new functionality to the Bitcoin network, including Bitcoin’s own version of NFTs and BRC-20 tokens traded on the Bitcoin network.
Who Founded Bitcoin?
Bitcoin was created by an anonymous team or individual. Someone using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto is credited with its creation and has never been positively identified, despite several people claiming to be Satoshi over the years.
Bitcoin’s anonymous origins and fair launch (mined, not sold) also make crypto’s granddaddy a standout in the marketplace. As far as we know, Bitcoin was created on a not-for-profit basis, but rather with an altruistic intent: to provide a viable alternative to what was seen at the time as a broken financial system. Bitcoin’s launch coincided with the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) in late August.
Satoshis, or Sats, are the smallest division of Bitcoin, with each Bitcoin equaling 100 million Satoshis.
Much of Bitcoin’s appeal lies in its fixed supply. Bitcoin mining continues to increase the circulating supply, but there is a fixed limit to the number of Bitcoin that will ever exist: 21 million.
About every four years, mining rewards for Bitcoin are cut in half, slowing down the rate at which the supply grows. This event, called the Bitcoin halving, usually coincides with a significant price increase.
How Bitcoin works
Bitcoin uses proof-of-work to validate transactions. Basically, Bitcoin miners must invest computing power (electricity, hardware, and maintenance) to verify a block hash with specific requirements before transactions can be added to the blockchain. As the hash rate on the network increases, the difficulty of mining increases (and vice versa) to keep the average block time at around 10 minutes.
Miners earn both network fees and block rewards for successfully mining a block. Once transactions in a block are validated, it becomes prohibitively expensive to change the block, as all subsequent blocks must also be re-mined.
Bitcoin miners also use the longest chain, so a rogue miner working overtime to re-mine previous blocks will probably never produce the longest chain. Shorter chains are ignored. This smart structure makes Bitcoin transactions virtually impossible to reverse and truly decentralized, with over 1 million miners around the world.
Like other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin uses crypto wallets to store Bitcoin. Each wallet has private keys and public keys, with private keys that allow you to manage your Bitcoin on the blockchain and send your Bitcoin to any public wallet address. Others can also send Bitcoin to your public wallet address, making Bitcoin function as a way to transfer value – like money, but without intermediaries such as banks or payment services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Bitcoin price predictions range from north of $250,000 to more pessimistic views that will eventually see BTC go to zero. Adoption plays a huge role in Bitcoin’s future value. As more people use Bitcoin as a store of value and a way to transfer value to others, the demand for BTC increases. Given Bitcoin’s fixed supply, increased demand could lead to higher prices.
You can buy Bitcoin through a crypto exchange like Coinbase. We’ve taken a look at some of the best ways to buy Bitcoin, explored the costs, security features, and more.
In general, Bitcoin focuses on use cases where value is transferred, such as sending Bitcoin to a family member or making a purchase in Bitcoin. Ethereum was designed to run smart contracts, computer programs that live on the blockchain. Another notable difference is the way the two networks validate transactions. Bitcoin still uses proof of work, while the Ethereum network uses proof of stake.
Both Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens use inscriptions, a form of data storage on the Bitcoin blockchain, to bring new functionality to Bitcoin. Ordinals are much like NFTs you would see on other networks like Ethereum. BRC-20 tokens are similar to ERC-20 tokens found on the Ethereum network, a way to add value or additional functionality to crypto projects.