Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto.The currency began use in 2009 when its implementation was released as open-source software. Bitcoin is basically a decentralized digital currency, without a central bank or single administrator, that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries, Says Astro-Business Strategist Hirav Shah.
Operation of Bitcoin
Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. Research produced by the University of Cambridge estimated that in 2017, there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.
Bitcoin has been criticized for its use in illegal transactions, the large amount of electricity used by miners, price volatility, and thefts from exchanges. Some economists, including several Nobel laureates, have characterized it as a speculative bubble at various times. Bitcoin has also been used as an investment, although several regulatory agencies have issued investor alerts about bitcoin.
Development over the last year of Bitcoin
On 11 March 2020, 281 000 bitcoins were sold by owners who held them for only thirty days. This compared to ₿4,131 that had laid dormant for a year or more, indicating that the vast majority of the bitcoin volatility on that day was from recent buyers. During the week of 11 March as a result of the pandemic, cryptocurrency exchange Kraken experienced an 83% increase in the number of account signups over the week of bitcoin’s price collapse, a result of buyers looking to capitalize on the low price. On 13 March 2020, bitcoin fell below $4000 during a broad COVID-19 pandemic related market selloff, after trading above $10,000 in February 2020.
In August 2020, MicroStrategy invested $250 million in bitcoin as a treasury reserve asset. In October 2020, Square, Inc. put approximately 1% of their total assets ($50 million) in bitcoin. In November 2020, PayPal announced that all users in the US could buy, hold, or sell bitcoin using PayPal.
On 30 November 2020, bitcoin hit a new all-time high of $19,860 topping the previous high from December 2017.Alexander Vinnik, founder of BTC-e, was convicted and sentenced to 5 years in prison for money laundering in France while refusing to testify during his trial. In December 2020 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company announced it has purchased $100 million in bitcoin, or roughly 0.04% of its general investment account.
On 19 January 2021 Elon Musk placed #Bitcoin in his Twitter profile tweeting “In retrospect, it was inevitable”, which caused the price to briefly rise about $5000 in an hour to $37,299. On 25 January 2021 Microstrategy announced it continued to buy bitcoin and as of the same date it had holdings of ₿70,784 worth $2.38 billion. On 8 February 2021 Tesla’s announcement that it had purchased $1.5 billion in bitcoin and planned to start accepting bitcoin as payment for vehicles pushed the bitcoin price to an all time high of $44,141. On 18 February 2021, Elon Musk said that “owning bitcoin was only a little better than holding conventional cash, but that the slight difference made it a better asset to hold”.
It was announced in September 2020, that the Canton of Zug (in Switzerland) will start to accept tax payments in bitcoin from February 2021.
Future of Bitcoin by the end of 2021
In Astro-Strategist Hirav Shah’s Words- 2021 is shaping up to be an exciting and dynamic year for the blockchain and crypto asset space, and the future seems bright for continued growth and implementation.
That said, Hirav Shah makes generalised predictions as to where might Bitcoin reach by this year end.
1. Moving into Mainstream
Bitcoin will expand beyond financial services.This is an especially promising and revolutionary technology because it helps reduce risk, stamps out fraud and brings transparency in a scalable way for myriad uses.
This may come as something of a surprise to the individuals and organizations that operate in the blockchain and crypto asset space, but the (much) larger non-expert population still commonly associates blockchain as meaning bitcoin.
2021 is shaping up to be the year that, across the board, bitcoin moves into the mainstream and a much wider range of economic sectors. Healthcare, transportation, and logistics are just a few of the areas that may benefit from wider blockchain adoption and implementation.
2. Closure above $30, 000
Bitcoin will close 2021 above $30,000. This might seem like a conservative prediction, especially given the runup that has occurred at the end of last year, but prices do not go up forever. Given the institutional fund flows and interest, however, it does seem that these recent price trends have support.
3.Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) will be introduced
The rise of CBDCs is all but assured, and the only remaining question is the exact timing of this launch. With efforts underway across the globe, the only unresolved item is which nation will deploy a CBDC first.
Alongside these implementations, however, will be renewed concerns around privacy and security.
4. Escalation of Tax enforcement
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made several moves in the last year or so that indicate the seriousness with which crypto tax enforcement will be handled moving forward. Taxes, however, are not a U.S. only issue, and with the runup in cryptocurrency prices in 2020, expect that tax authorities the globe over will take a fresh look at this potential revenue.
2020 has been a tumultuous year to put it mildly, but against that backdrop the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors continued to advance, develop, and grow.
Whether it took the form of increased regulatory attention and clarification, wider adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange, or the broader utilization of blockchain across different organizations, the predictions are clear, says Hirav Shah.
Hirav Shah Opines- Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have moved, by any metric, far from the earlier days of conceptual understanding and technical curiosity, and have now become part of the mainstream business conversation.
You might think, making forecasts about the future is always a tricky endeavor, and doubly so for such a fast moving and evolving sector.
But, hang on….
Today things can be certain.
You can know the results in advance.
You can plan accordingly and be certain and confident about the massive decisions you are taking.
Yes,it’s possible through Astro-Business Strategy, Concludes Hirav Shah, India’s Most Trusted & Influential Astro-Business Strategist.