Recently, cryptocurrencies and bitcoin have become the main topics in the financial industry. A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. A cryptocurrency is difficult to counterfeit because of this security feature. A defining characteristic of a cryptocurrency and arguably its most endearing allure is its organic nature; it is not issued by any central authority, rendering it theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation. Cryptocurrencies have their benefits and drawbacks. The paper elaborates different aspects of cryptocurrencies, starting with their early development, challenges and risks, opportunities, advantages and disadvantages, and their future. Also, the paper covered issues related to the practical and technical function of cryptocurrencies. It was concluded that it is not easy to predict the future of cryptocurrencies since there is a lot to be done especially in the field of formal regulations. However, the banks and other financial institutions should see and consider cryptocurrencies as an alternative for the financial transactions in the future.
Faster, Cheaper Payment Solution
Bitcoin transactions can occur at any time, are fast and have lower fees. The average Bitcoin transaction is executed in 10 minutes with fees for simple P2P transfers to remittances coming in at under 1%. This is due in large part to the fact that traditional third-party financial institutions like banks are removed from the transaction process. Merchants and individuals using bitcoins are not restrained by set banking hours, withdrawal limits or long transaction execution periods before funds become available.
Safeguards Against Currency Manipulation
Bitcoin is not owned or controlled by a country or governing body. Additionally, unlike many other forms of currency, the number of bitcoins that will be issued is finite, exactly 21 million. The benefit of this lack of ownership and the limited amount is that the bitcoin supply cannot be artificially manipulated. When it comes to fiat currency, governments can easily print additional paper or mint coins, devaluing existing money in circulation and causing inflation. The decentralized nature of bitcoin decreases monetary concerns and mostly leaves fluctuations in value up to natural supply and demand economics.
Greater Consumer Protections
The use of bitcoin as an alternative to fiat currency protects the downside that can occur with traditional bank accounts. This includes the threat of bank failure or skimming. In the event of a bank failure, a customer can face frozen bank accounts while liquidation plans or bailouts are hashed out. In some countries, traditional bank customers may even find that banks will skim money off of customer’s accounts to remain solvent. This occurred during the banking crisis faced by Cyprus in 2013. With bitcoin, individuals remain in full control of when and how their assets are retrieved, transferred and spent. Essentially, digital currency users become their bank.
Because all bitcoin transactions are permanently recorded on the blockchain, all sales are public and traceable. The balance associated with each address is also part of the public record. The blockchain makes bitcoin much more transparent than many other monetary systems.
Private and Secure
Although all bitcoin transaction details are stored publicly on the blockchain, the identities of the users involved remain relatively anonymous. Because payments can be made without including personal identification information, Bitcoin provides inherent security against identity theft. Additionally, there is no risk of being charged twice or of fraudulent charges being assessed to your wallet thanks to the blockchain, which monitors unique coin addresses and eliminates the possibility of paying multiple people with the same bitcoin. Bitcoin doesn’t offer the complete anonymity of cash but is undoubtedly a far more private experience than making online payments or transactions using debit or credit cards.
Bitcoin is currently the most valuable and widely adopted digital currency. A growing number of businesses, charities, and other organizations are accepting bitcoin payments ranging from e-retailers to law firms to sports franchises. Further, recent inflationary and banking crises across the globe have highlighted some of the critical threats inherent to fiat currency. This creates additional opportunities for decentralized digital currencies. Education will be essential to increasing Bitcoin’s acceptance and usage by merchants, institutions, and individuals. The system will also need to address common criticisms around illicit use of bitcoin and work diligently to build regulatory and legal frameworks around the world.
A guest post by KillerLaunch.com