Bitcoin. The virtual currency rose above $21,000 on Tuesday.
[Mise à jour du mardi 21 juin 2022 à 09h05] Is this the end of the bitcoin nightmare? Abused for several weeks, it crossed $21,000 on Tuesday morning, while hitting a low of $19,000 the day before. I’m not sure, however, that virtual currency will be in trouble, because the drop is above all The economic situation, where investors are staying away from risky assets in a turbulent period. The US Federal Reserve confirmed its monetary policy tightening, which led to higher key interest rates. The stated objective, is to contain the accelerated inflation resulting from the economic recovery and the accelerated economic recovery due to the war in Ukraine. As a result, global stock markets are plunging. Bitcoin’s drop is also attributed to the suspension of withdrawals from the Celsius platform early last week, which has so far allowed investing in virtual currencies. This is not the first time that Bitcoin has experienced such a drop. It actually fell below the $30K threshold in June and July 2021. As a reminder, Bitcoin peaked at $68K last November.
Bitcoin is the highest rated cryptocurrency. But it is also the name of the blockchain protocol that allows peer-to-peer transactions to be conducted transparently and securely.
There is no official value for Bitcoin. This indicator is just the average price of Bitcoin (usually in dollars) on all cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. There are many websites that use this method and the most famous one is CoinmarketCap. Bitcoin price is governed by the law of supply and demand. Note that it is always difficult to explain why the price suddenly rose or fell.
Since its inception, the price of Bitcoin has seen significant variations. 2017 was an eventful year for the cryptocurrency star. It went from $1,000 to $19,000 in one year. Its historical level was reached in November 2021, exceeding $68,000.
Bitcoin price history
Bitcoin price listing began in early 2011, two years after it was created. It is often expressed in dollars or euros, but it can also be found in yen or yuan because Asians are very fond of cryptocurrencies. Below is the history of the bitcoin price in dollars.
Before buying bitcoins, it is important to keep in mind that, as with any risky asset, you should not invest more than you can afford to lose. Strictly speaking, there is no bitcoin account like bank accounts. To get bitcoins, you must open an account on the cryptocurrency exchange platform (there are about a hundred of them today in the world). In general, it can be purchased by card or by bank transfer.
In France, there are quite a few players: exchanges Paymium (Bitcoin / Euro exchange), Zebitex (Multi-Cryptocurrency / Euro), Savitar and brokers Coinhouse and ZeBitcoin. French citizens can buy bitcoins on foreign platforms, such as American Coinbase which is available in French. Some are more comfortable than others. Commissions also vary from platform to platform. bitcoin.fr regularly updates the platform’s ranking, listing in particular the number of positive and negative reviews.
Bitcoin is a virtual currency created in 2009 by an unknown person whose alias is Satoshi Nakamoto. Unlike traditional currencies (also called fiat currency), bitcoins are not issued and managed by a banking authority. It is released on the blockchain protocol of the same name. This technology enables information to be stored and transmitted transparently and securely, without the presence of a central control body. Bitcoin, like many other cryptocurrencies, is traded through mining. The “miners,” the people scattered around the world, perform mathematical calculations using their computers of the Bitcoin network to confirm transactions and increase their security. In return, they receive bitcoins. It can then be converted into fiat currency or exchanged for other cryptocurrencies on exchanges.
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Bitcoin issuance is limited to 21 million units, as predicted in the initial code. This amount should be reached in the year 2140. At the beginning of 2018, the number of bitcoins issued crossed the 17 million mark, or 80% of the total. Due to the increasing difficulty of computations, bitcoins are generated at a decreasing rate: 12.5 bitcoins every ten minutes today (compared to 50 bitcoins in 2009). Note that the smallest division of bitcoin is the satoshi. 1 satoshi = 0.00000001 bitcoin.
There are bitcoin billionaires. Due to the fluctuation of the cycle, it is difficult to say exactly how much of their wealth is in dollars or euros. According to the specialized website Decrypt, the largest bitcoin holder is Micre Zhan, co-founder of the mining giant Bitmain. In the list of crypto-millionaires, we find in particular:
- The Winklevoss Brothers: Founders of Cryptocurrency Exchange Gemini (also known for their conflict with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg)
- Michael Saylor: Head of software publisher Microstrategy (part of his balance sheet is also in bitcoin)
- Changpeng Zhao: CEO of Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume
- Tim Draper: Investor Tim Draper
- Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, a very popular American cryptocurrency trading platform.
But the biggest owner of Bitcoin will actually be … Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, which has not yet been recognized. According to several estimates, he owns 1.1 million bitcoins.
Bitcoin is used all over the world. Western countries concentrate a large part of transactions, especially in the logic of investment. Countries with high inflation are bitcoin users, such as Argentina and Venezuela. On the other hand, some countries have banned the buying and selling of bitcoins. This is particularly the case in Pakistan, Algeria, Bangladesh and even Saudi Arabia. Since bitcoins cannot really be blocked due to their decentralized nature, it is always possible to get them, on peer-to-peer sites for example.
Halving is an event during which the reward to miners who create bitcoins is halved. This event takes place approximately every four years. The last halving, which dates back to May 11, 2020, reduced this bonus from 12.5 to 6.25. This is the third halving since the crypto star was created in 2009, after November 2012 and July 2016. During the next halving, the mining premium will increase to 3.125 BTC. Thus … this scheme will make it possible to reach the maximum of 21 million bitcoins in circulation by the year 2140, as predicted by Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of bitcoin.
Today, there are 18.3 million bitcoins in circulation. Halving is also synonymous with the rising price of Bitcoin. Anyway, that’s what happened to the first halves. No wonder, because Bitcoin, like many assets, depends on supply and demand. As the supply decreases, its price tends to rise. For the third, the pattern did not repeat itself as Bitcoin lost 2% to settle at $8,560. It must be said that this halving takes place in a rather specific context related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Once you buy bitcoins, it is possible to keep them in a wallet or a physical or digital e-wallet. It avoids the hacking risks that cryptocurrency exchanges may be victims of. It includes two components: a public key, known to all, corresponding to a bitcoin address, and a private key, known only to the owner of the wallet. Physical wallets look like USB keys. Two big players are vying for the market, namely France’s Ledger and Czech Trezor. Digital wallets and software wallets can be accessed on computer, mobile and desktop. Some examples of software wallets: ArcBit, BitGo, Electrum, Mycelium…