Who invented Bitcoin?
Satoshi Nakamoto is credited with designing Bitcoin. Nakamoto claims to be a man living in Japan born on April 5th, 1975 but there are speculations that he is actually either an individual programmer or group of programmers with a penchant for computer science and cryptography scattered around the United States or Europe.
Nakamoto is believed to have created the first blockchain database and has been the first to solve the double spending problem other digital currency failed to. While Bitcoin's creator is shrouded in mystery, his Wizard of Oz status hasn't stopped the digital currency from becoming increasingly popular with individuals, businesses, and even governments.
It's important to take a look at Bitcoin's popularity over time because... well, have a look below:
Search volume for "Bitcoin". A value of 100 is peak popularity.
Google Trends structures the chart to represent a relative search interest to the highest points in the chart. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term "Bitcoin" and a value of 50 means it was half as popular at that time. A score of 0 indicates that the term was less than 1% as popular as the peak. It's amazing how the searches relating to Bitcoin have spiked in the past few years.
When Bitcoin began circulating in 2009, its early adopters consisted of programmers and a niche crowd of technical people. Its popularity over time indicates that many of the disadvantages of Bitcoin will likely dissipate as Bitcoin becomes more standard.
Unsurprisingly, Bitcoin's price has grown with increased demand. As you can see, more buyers enter the market and raise the price as more people learn about Bitcoin and its technical applications.
Bitcoin's popularity has undeniably been its number one advantage over the numerous other cryptocurrencies. By gaining a large number of adopters and users, Bitcoin has achieved a network effect that attracts even more users . Users who would otherwise be more apprehensive investing in a relatively unknown and unproven digital currency are reassured by Bitcoin's performance over time, its growing community, and the fact that people they know are adopting cryptos.
Bitcoin's first mover advantage, popularity, and network effect have cemented it as the most popular cryptocurrency with the largest market cap. Rivals like Litecoin may have numerous technical advantages over Bitcoin's algorithm (see more about that here), but they only hold a fraction of Bitcoin's market cap and their dwindling communities largely consist of loyalists, speculators, and antagonistic anti-Bitcoin buyers.
What We Can Learn From Bitcoin's Popularity.
Understanding what makes Bitcoin so popular allows us to not only conceptualize where Bitcoin is headed but also how other cryptocurrencies generally function. Bitcoin is able to attract users better than any other cryptocurrency because...
It has the network effect. Bitcoin's network validates its worth to newcomers and gives Bitcoin a viral growth rate. The high market cap is comforting . Bitcoin's massive market cap gives users a sense of security and stability since it's harder to manipulate and less prone to drastic swings in price. With a market cap of over $100 billion, Bitcoin is comparatively a much safer crypto investment. Speculation drives numbers. Many Bitcoin users are holding onto their bitcoins in hopes of selling them off for an enormous profit one day. With news articles portraying Bitcoin millionaires as lucky kids who got in early, you can't really blame them. For example, if you had spent your $5 latte money on 2,000 bitcoins one morning in 2010, they would be worth about $5.4 million today. Makes you really wish you'd managed your Starbucks budget better, doesn't it?
News drives attention, and attention drives understanding. While many people have flocked to cryptocurrencies purely in search of financial gain, there are a ton of people that are simply curious. Some peoples are sticking around and trying to understand what cryptos are all about. While more users increase Bitcoin's network effect, more people forming in-depth understandings of cryptos also strengthen the active Bitcoin community.
Bitcoin is still a relatively young currency but it has achieved substantial user adoption and growth. Bitcoin's network only grows stronger as more people learn about Bitcoin's fundamental technology and potential in relation to other methods of value storage.
As the flagship of the cryptocurrency fleet, Bitcoin is considered the "gateway" cryptocurrency. Understanding Bitcoin's potential is an essential first step to seeing the brilliant solutions being worked on in the cryptocurrency world.
Bitcoin paints a future that is drastically different from the fiat-based world today. This is either exciting or unsettling for the vast majority. Equip yourself with the best possible resources. Become active in communities that further explore not only the technical applications of Bitcoin and other cryptos but with their overall potential to disrupt virtually every market. Brace yourselves. Cryptos are coming.