The world depends on business to effectively run. The simple reason is that goods and services must be moved from one shore to another since countries are not equally endowed. What a country requires but lacks, can be easily shipped in from another.
For a country to, however, import goods and services from another, payment or a form of exchange must take place. The means of effecting the payment sometimes is a problem, since it must be on an agreed form of currency.
International trades have been majorly carried out in the world using currencies like the dollar, pound sterling, euro and the yen among others. Countries and businessmen, therefore, sourced for any agreed currency to be able to transact businesses.
In 2009 however, there was a sort of revolution with the shadowy Satoshi Nakamoto, having created and then releasing the original rules of the Bitcoin network to the world. The question, however, is, to what degree has this invention helped in resolving our problems? Below are a few of them.
Ease of acquisition
The bitcoin can be acquired by anybody easily. This can be through mining, in which complex mathematical puzzles are solved. The winner of this competition is rewarded with 25 bitcoins in roughly every ten minutes. The mathematics angle may scare you but there isn’t any harm in trying.
You can also purchase bitcoins directly from “Bitcoin exchanges” using different world currencies. The bitcoins you have acquired can then be stored in a “digital wallet,” which exists in the cloud or on your computer.
Quite unlike traditional payment networks such as Visa or American Express, no one can force you to reveal your identity. You enjoy a guaranteed transaction anonymity. There are no country ties, no middleman like banks and no unnecessary regulations. You don’t need all the hiccups involved in the transfer of cash. Your Bitcoin can be sent electronically to anywhere in the world.
The fact that no bank is involved saves you a lot of stress as well as enjoying minimal or no transaction costs.
Your own part of the bargain is to ensure that what you want is actually what is being sold and in a jiffy, the transaction is concluded. You don’t need to know the owner of the goods you just acquired, the ownership will be automatically transferred to you and the information stored.
The Bitcoin is a secure means of transaction. It is recorded on a ledger known as blockchain and then broadcast to the network. The blockchain ascertains that no single bitcoin is spent twice by the same user. The transaction in which the bitcoin was used is validated by a computer network and thereby becomes unalterable.
One very interesting fact about the bitcoin is the way its value has kept on increasing astronomically. It initially sold for roughly about $1,200, which was slightly less expensive than an ounce of gold. But by May 2017, the price took a “quantum” jump. One bitcoin was sold for more than $2,600, this is definitely over twice as much as an ounce of gold.
What do we expect in some years to come? I am sure your guess is as good as mine.
The flip side
In as much as we are talking about coins, it’s imperative we mention the other side of the coin.
Most good things have been discovered to also have the ugly sides. In the case of the bitcoin, it is reported that the United States acting assistant attorney general, Mylhili Raman, described the more notorious ways bitcoins are being used. She mentioned the recent FBI shutdown of Silk Road.
Law enforcement agents have also spoken seriously as regards the way and manner the anonymity factor of the transactions involving bitcoins have aided criminals, to buy drugs, hire assassins, trade child porn, and dodge taxes.
Since what most people are talking about negatively in the case of bitcoins is the issue of anonymity, the only thing to be done is to find a way of making it open.
Ernie Allen, the President of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children had this to say, “If the perception of anonymity diminishes, we believe the criminal use will diminish with it.”
The guidance issued by the United States Treasury Department saying that groups exchanging bitcoins must register with the government and keep records is a right step forward.
Governments of the world should follow the steps taken by the United States. If we get bogged down by activities of criminals, the world will go back to the stone age or rather to the age of “trade by the batter.”