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Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin: The good, the bad, the future

Bitcoin is the first successful global peer-to-peer cash implementation that lets everyone store and exchange value with others.

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dollars, Bitcoin has halved, what happens next?, Naira should watch out; Nigeria leads in the peer to peer use of Bitcoin than all African countries combined

Cheers. Here’s to something we all know, maybe most of us but mostly, here’s to something some of us most likely want to deny; “Bitcoin has come to stay” and we must raise our glasses to the doggedness of all and sundry involved in the efforts to complement and consolidate the stability, acceptance, profitability, and growth of BTC world over.

In recent weeks, Bitcoin and holders have enjoyed over 8 percent increase in the prices of Bitcoin world over, justifying the decision to hold on to the digital currency and has, in turn, led to a spike in the acceptance, recognition, and investment of individuals and corporations in the digital currency. Going forward, with teeming interest in Bitcoin, it is imperative to educate enthusiasts and potential investors on and about the story so far and in tandem help inform better decisions as to the future of the ‘gold mine’.

On the surface, one of the many perks of BTC and/or cryptocurrency is the accessibility. Without any middlemen, government officials, monetary economists, and other intermediaries or regulators, such a system can operate. Essentially, Bitcoin is the first successful global peer-to-peer cash implementation that lets everyone, no matter who or where they are, store and exchange value with others.

However, the unregulated use of bitcoin itself and the possibility of leaving a holder legally unprotected should anything go wrong has been one of the major concerns in the global market. Secondly in the eventuality of a hard drive crash, or if a virus corrupts your data and subsequently corrupts the wallet file, Bitcoin held on such wallet will be essentially been “lost” with no way to recovering it. The coins in context will then be forever orphaned in the system, therefore, increasing the chance of bankruptcy for a wealthy Bitcoin investor.

Pros and cons of Bitcoin

Pros

  • The most transparent financial system to date is Bitcoin. All over the planet, and where there is no banking system, you can make payments with Bitcoins 24/7.
  • With Bitcoins, foreign money transfers can be quicker and cheaper than with conventional banking and services.
  • Bitcoin is the only asset ever created that cannot be taken from you by force (if taken proper precautions). Often, BTC transactions are also not censorable, and no one can stop you from performing transactions.
  • Bitcoin also has valuable business features, such as multi-signature authorization and accounting transparency. Multi-signature ensures that many individuals need to sign off on an invoice, which provides more security. And the very existence of a blockchain, where all transactions are public, strengthens a company’s transparency.
  • Bitcoin is pseudonymous, and without any authentication or credit history, anyone can open their wallet through the internet. In under-banked regions and third world countries, it is particularly beneficial where most individuals are struggling to get access to capital.
  • Bitcoins can be spent on a desktop device, cell phone, or debit card in the same way you spend conventional digital money.
  • Bitcoins are deflationary, unlike fiat currencies, implying that their value is set to appreciate by default.
  • The most portable asset ever produced is Bitcoin, which can be transmitted via satellite or even radio.
  • Bitcoin has the most brand awareness, liquidity, the most integrated ecosystem, and most acceptance among numerous retailers and organizations compared to other cryptocurrencies.
  • For small fee, regular retail transactions such as buying tea, groceries, or simply tipping someone online, the Lightning Network can be used for this.
  • Bitcoin presents a programmable money principle that allows for more financial developments, such as “smart contracts.”
  • By providing an alternative to people who mistrust their government, certain institutions, politicians, or simply believe in the power of decentralization, Bitcoin disrupts the monopoly of capital.

Cons

  • When things go south, little or no regulatory oversight is needed.
  • Despite attempts to allow offline Bitcoin transfers, the use of the currency still depends largely on the availability of the internet.
  • As Bitcoin is still in progress, depending on mining efficiency and network congestion, the transaction speed and fees appear to differ.
  • Converting Bitcoins to fiat requires payments that are often expensive.
  • Bitcoins are not approved by many shops or service providers. The figure is rising, though.
  • Bitcoin transactions are immutable, which means there’s no way to bring them back once the money leaves your wallet. While several reputation management tools are being created, the thing with Bitcoin is that there is no “buyer’s protection.” Conversely, since accepting BTC removes the risk of fraudulent chargebacks, it may help merchants.
  • Many individuals are not prepared to assume full responsibility for their properties and are unable to safely handle their private keys. Beyond recovery, several private Bitcoin keys have been lost, thereby leading to Bitcoin’s deflation and value appreciation.
  • A steep learning curve is given by learning all the latest ins and outs of the Bitcoin ecosystem. In most Bitcoin applications, the user interface is still not foolproof, and the network is not ready to support anyone in the world.
  • Securing Bitcoin needs basic knowledge and understanding of cybersecurity. Although the network is practically unhackable, there are organizations and individuals that are trying to hack Bitcoin wallets.
  • Bitcoin’s central philosophy goes against the most influential institutions, governments, politics, banks, regulators, and censorship, and before these players can tolerate or approve it, it is likely to face a lot of opposition.

The future we project

According to Coindesk, some economic analysts expect that a big shift in cryptography is coming in January 2021, as institutional capital enters the market. There is also the possibility of floating crypto on the Nasdaq, which will further give prestige as an alternative traditional currency that is powered by the blockchain. Some expect that a regulated trading platform is all that crypto needs.

Any of the restrictions that cryptocurrencies currently face, such as the fact that a computer crash may delete one’s digital fortune, or that a hacker may ransack a virtual vault, may be resolved in time through technological advances. What is more difficult to solve is the underlying paradox of cryptocurrencies the more common they become, the more regulated government scrutiny. They are likely to be drawn, eroding the essential premise of their life.

While the number of merchants embracing cryptocurrencies has risen gradually, they are still very much in the minority. They must first gain widespread acceptance among consumers for cryptocurrencies to become more widely used. However, except for the technologically adept, their relative difficulty compared to traditional currencies would probably discourage most individuals.

A cryptocurrency that aspires to be part of the mainstream financial system may have to follow widely divergent requirements. It will have to be mathematically complex (to deter fraud and hacker attacks) but easy to understand for customers; And maintain user anonymity without becoming a backdoor for tax evasion, money laundering, and other nefarious activities; decentralized yet with sufficient customer protections and security. Since these are enormous requirements to meet, the most common cryptocurrency will probably have attributes in a few years between highly regulated fiat currencies and the cryptocurrency of today? Although that possibility looks distant, there is little doubt that the success (or lack thereof) of Bitcoin in coping with the difficulties it faces as the leading cryptocurrency at present will decide the fortunes of other cryptocurrencies in the years ahead.

It might be wise to handle your ‘investment’ in the same way you would treat any other highly risky enterprise if you are considering investing in cryptocurrencies. In other words, realize that you run the risk of losing the bulk, if not all, of your investment. As previously mentioned, aside from what a buyer is willing to pay for it at a point in time, a cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value and have your share in the digital economy.

NM Partners represent articles published in paid partnerships with corporate organisations. They include press releases, targeted content, and other forms of corporate communications on behalf of our Paid Partners.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Concerned citizen

    January 26, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    “Cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value”. If you were stranded on an island alone with a treasure chest full of gold coins, do those coins have any intrinsic value? Of course not, coconuts that offer nutritional nourishment will be more valuable to you at that time.

    Human consciousness gives value to money – particularly money that was determined on the free market for its relative scarcity and difficulty in producing new units. Bitcoin is a new technology, just like the way the internet was in the early 90s, in time Bitcoin will be ubiquitous and you won’t need to know all the ins and out of it. A lot of companies are coming up to make things easier for people to adopt and understand it, not to mention the amazing content you can find online for someone who is inquisitive. And for those that don’t want to understand fully, there are custodial companies that have multisig setups to prevent loss of private keys to your bitcoin.

    What gives fiat currency its value? It’s just paper that we accept because its mandated to use to pay our taxes, for goods and services. No rational society would accept that form of money that could be inflated at will to fix problems which end up diluting the savings of people that hold the money, lead to social unrest and more. All hyperinflations have happened in fiat (or government) currency, never with sound money like gold.

    No one was around to witness gold become money back then, Bitcoin is becoming money in real time, the status quo will do their best to prevent the inevitable but Bitcoin will win (how many times has Bitcoin “died”?), it just needs time.

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Cryptocurrency

Nigerian Bitcoin P2P surges by 15% since CBN Crypto ban

Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, posted monthly P2P volumes of about $31 million,

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Africa’s largest economy, in spite of the recent crypto ban reminder issued by Nigeria’s Apex bank, has posted a surge in monthly P2P volumes to about $31 million on two major P2P exchanges that include Paxful and Local Bitcoins.

According to a new study seen by Nairametrics, Africa’s biggest crypto market has seen about a 15% surge of activity in peer-to-peer transactions since the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a circular reminding financial institutions in Nigeria about the prohibition in crypto-related transactions.

As bitcoin’s usage has been rising steadily in emerged markets, recent data suggest Nigerians are not giving up on the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, so it becomes unsurprising that transactional volumes printing out from Nigeria combine other African nations in relation to bitcoin P2P.

Data seen from Usefultulips, a BTC analytic data provider, showed Africa’s leading oil producer-led Africa’s peer to peer transactions in the last 30 days, as it posted monthly P2P volumes of about $31 million, followed by the Kenyans and Ghana each posting about $12.1 million and $8.4 million respectively.

However, the effect of the CBN crypto ban is already breeding bad actors currently taking advantage of the high thirst for Bitcoin. Luno, a leading African-based Crypto exchange, in an email sent to Nairametrics, shed more light on the cost bitcoin buyers in Nigeria must bear.

“Pushing people underground also makes it easier for scammers to exploit Nigerians, and we are already seeing Bitcoin trade at huge premiums in the country as a result of the ban.

“Other companies have made the choice to find workarounds that are less visible for regulators – for example, Peer-2-Peer (P2P) trading. Our view is that P2P trading would go against the spirit of the CBN’s directive.

“We believe that the focus should instead be on demonstrating to the CBN that exchanges such as Luno have the necessary controls in place to address the concerns it has in relation to cryptocurrencies.”

Bottom Line: A significant number of Nigerians are hell-bent on leveraging on Bitcoin to sustain and drive their earnings amid rising inflation and stringent access to FX liquidity in Africa’s biggest economy as it offers most of them the easiest and cheapest means of moving capital in relation to other traditional means of payments.

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Cryptocurrency

XRP stands firm, investors wait on Ripple’s legal outcome

XRP price traded at $0.457053 with a daily trading volume of about $6 Billion. XRP is up 1.94% for the day.

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XRP

Investors are anxiously waiting for the legal outcome filed against Ripple, creators of XRP, as the digital asset, recorded decent gains amid recent price market correction prevailing at the crypto-verse

Investors are holding firm on reports that revealed Christian Larsen, the Chairman of Ripple, has joined company CEO Brad Garlinghouse in passing a motion to dismiss the charges filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a court letter filed recently, the Chairman of Ripple’s attorneys provided facts detailing their reasons on why the legal case against the Ripple executive should be struck.

According to the letter, the SEC has not been able to prove its evidence that the Ripple top executive“knowingly or recklessly provided substantial assistance” towards the violation of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933.

What you should know: At press time, XRP price traded at $0.457053 with a daily trading volume of about $6 Billion. XRP is up 1.94% for the day.

The crypto asset is currently the 7th most valuable crypto with a market value of $20.7 billion.

That being said, its parent company, Ripple is currently piloting a private type of open-source, public XRP ledger that allows Central Banks to create and manage a digital currency—enabling global interoperability.

  • Recall some months back, Ripple revealed to the public that it was informed by the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission that they had plans to sue the founders in a Federal civil court. Ripple and its top lieutenants further disclosed that they planned to fight such allegations.
  • Ripple has however significantly upgraded on how it manages XRP, relinquishing control of the future development of XRP over to independent developers.

But it still holds about 6.4 billion XRP directly and has an additional 48 billion XRP held in an escrow from which it periodically sells to the public.

It has so far distributed 45 billion XRP since its debut. That is different from the ways in which bitcoin is created and distributed.

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