Why You Should Get Involved With Bitcoin Now.

Cryptocurrency is one of the most fascinating things technology has to offer so far this century. I have been involved with Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin since middle school, and as a college student now, I can say it had a great impact on me and who I am today. We have nearly scratched the surface of its potential, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Although fluctuating in price, Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin are very important to look into because of the impossibilities of fraud and what you can learn from it academically

Bitcoin's Big Bad Price

The first thing people think of when they hear Bitcoin is the price. Twenty thousand dollars! Three thousand dollars! Ten thousand dollars! These big numbers in themselves deter people from wanting to even look into Bitcoin, much less the fluctuation between them. Many people don’t know that you can buy fractions of Bitcoin, so instead of buying thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin, you could start with just fifteen dollars. And that’s exactly what I did when I first got into Bitcoin as a mere 14-year-old. After I purchased some Bitcoin, although little, I obsessed over the market, trying to sell high and buy low, constantly checking the price on my phone, and losing sleep. After some research, I realized that the overall trend of both the stock market and Bitcoin was up, and Bitcoin isn’t going away any time soon.

It's Scary Out There

One thing I also learned on the internet is that fraud is everywhere. As a naïve middle-schooler, I found that some people will offer to buy Amazon gift cards for more than they were worth, and I happened to have a $50 one that I wasn’t using. So I listed it on eBay and someone contacted me wanting to purchase it. After I received an email from PayPal saying the payment went through I gave him the card numbers. Then I rechecked the email. It was fake. Such things are impossible with Bitcoin. Each transaction with Bitcoin is final and is stored on a public ledger anyone can access. Therefore you can send and receive Bitcoin to and from someone without worrying about if they are attempting to scam you or not. This public ledger is known as the Blockchain, and one of the main things that attribute to the massive price and market cap of Bitcoin. Every transaction ever made is stored and easily accessible on a huge receipt. One part that makes this even more valuable is that it is completely anonymous. While you can track transactions, there is no name, no IP address, no email, no personal information included in these transactions so everything you do is faceless.

Self Owned

And this is good for many reasons. Brokerage accounts can be hacked and your bank account can be closed; in other words, when you own stocks or have a debit card, you are not in control of your assets. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of computers all around the world are hosting servers to allow Bitcoin to be decentralized, so no one company is the “owner” of Bitcoin, the people are. All of your assets can be held offline on your computer. All you need is access to the internet to initiate a transaction. Banks, however, are less reliable. As of this year alone, at least four financial institutions have had major issues, including Capital One when someone hacked over 100 million accounts including their linked banks and social security numbers as well as the Ameritrade brokerage in 2005 when they lost account information of over 200,000 customers. Needless to say, your information is best protected in your hands, and there are many ways to do that with Bitcoin. Hardware wallets are newly being developed, where your Bitcoin is stored on a USB drive and only accessible to the owner once they physically plug it into a computer and enter a series of passwords to access their funds.

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Like these bank accounts and brokerages, Bitcoin also has the ability to be stored online to keep or trade as a stock would. One thing I was interested in was learning how these exchanges worked. They offered APIs where users could access trade data such as the current price of Bitcoin or the amount of volume traded that day. So, naturally, I was curious. But accessing these required a bit of coding knowledge. I had already known a little bit of JavaScript from taking some online website building classes, but this was completely different. Instead of writing code to put things on a website, it was writing code to take things from a website. I began taking an interest in creating trading bots that would buy and sell cryptocurrencies at a given time under certain parameters. And there are also many resources online for different strategies to use as well as exchanges that have better APIs than others. While Bitcoin is easy to learn with a little patience, understanding how it works is a whole different ball game. It uses a lot of cryptography which I found out was taught at college-level classes and becoming more desirable to learn for those wanting to go into the tech business. Taking a little time to learn about some of these things can have great impacts, and allowed me to start my first internship as a Bitcoin “consultant” for a fin-tech company.

Bitcoin has truly changed the way people look at money, and its popularity will only grow with time, as will the price. Discovering Bitcoin has lead me to a whole new understanding of my potential and the impact I could have on society. If its technologies become more mainstream and are utilized successfully, fraud would be all but extinguished. So inform yourself about how it works — and maybe even buy some of it.