Bitcoin Becoming Mainstream

Daniel Longenecker, Staff Writer

As of 2021, there are around 18.6 million bitcoins in circulation. Beginning in 2009, as the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency, Bitcoin’s market capitalization has since risen to an astounding 600 billion dollars. Its growth has shaken up the online payment landscape.

Many banks shunned digital currencies in the past. However, its growing usage has forced some pig industry players to rethink this stance. Morgan Stanley, for example, recently became the first big U.S. bank to offer bitcoin funds to their clients.

Recent actions taken by Tesla and other companies reveal how institutions are becoming increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies. To many, it seems as though it is on the cusp of mainstream popularity.

The word “cryptocurrency” has its origins in the encryption techniques used to secure networks. By utilizing online ledgers functioning with strong cryptography, cryptocurrencies maintain the integrity of transactional information. Moreover, information is distributed across numerous computers. This decentralized system enables these currencies to remain uncontrollable by governments. 

They also provide users with complete anonymity, which is great for those interested in maintaining their privacy. However, this security has also attracted those interested in participating in illegal activities. They also do not have the same protections as money in ordinary bank accounts.

Many people are concerned about their usage to facilitate criminal activity and terrorist funding. However, the majority of cryptocurrencies are not used in this way. According to a 2021 report from Chainanalysis, in 2019, illicit activity only made up about 2.1 percent of all transactional volume.

Growing numbers of supporters view cryptocurrencies as the future and are racing to obtain some. They have been praised for their convenient portability, transparency, and inflation resistance. On the other hand, some are only interested in profiting off of the rising value of many kinds of digital cash.

These digital currencies have received criticism for a variety of reasons, including their exchange rate volatility and infrastructure vulnerabilities. Many predict the disruption of many industries as a result of its emergence into the mainstream. Soon, more companies might consider accepting bitcoin transactions in the future.

However, the future of currencies like Bitcoin is still very uncertain. As of now, many are unaware of these digital currencies and their potential. It’s also possible to see bans or restrictions on this type of currency. Turkey, for example, completely banned their use after experiencing a period of economic troubles recently.