“Bitcoin declined to comment”
In an article published earlier, there was a reference to bitcoin stating that “bitcoin declined to comment”. In light of that hilarious misunderstanding of the bitcoin protocol I want to write a list of a few basic things that MOST people ( probably ) don’t know about Bitcoin. If you’ve been in this space for any amount of time, you know how easy it is to forget just how much you’re actually learning until you try to explain basic things to other people.
So to help that, here are just 8 quick, basic facts that the general newbie to the space doesn’t know.
- BITCOIN IS NOT A COMPANY.
Bitcoin is not a company – that is to say there is no “Bitcoin” headquarters, no Bitcoin president or CEO. No board of directors, etc. In fact, The only human beings actually involved in Bitcoin every day are the people who mine in and the people who use it.
There is no central party, no authority through human oversight. It is just a protocol, like email. The decentralized network just exists.
- BITCOIN IS NOT JUST “ALTERNATIVE” CURRENCY.
At its surface it may seem like all bitcoin is good for is buying and selling things online. Then, upon closer inspection it is obvious that bitcoin is also a sovereign currency that has zero borders or boundaries to enter the market & elevates human rights globally in a way that has only been dreamed about so far.
But beyond that even, is a world of applications and uses for the technology that haven’t even been discovered yet.
Ethereum has done a good job of pioneering layer 2s, and even some layer 3s like Cardano have started & the metaverse rumblings. There was the ICO craze, and then NFTs. but It all started and sprang forth from Bitcoin. & There will be more.
- BITCOIN AND CRYPTO ARE NOT THE SAME THING.
For the reasons stated above, MANY digital “currencies” and “blockchains” – both proof of work and proof of stake – exist. According to Coinmarketcap.com – there are almost 20,000 different digital “currencies”. 9.99 % of these projects are NOT bitcoin.
Bitcoin isn’t JUST a “crypto” – it’s the original, actual decentralized protocol that all others came after. Many of the projects make the space better, but many many more are just in the space to capitalize on the market and stack their own Bitcoin. So be careful when you hear about the “next Bitcoin” – because there IS NO NEXT BITCOIN. Bitcoin will remain and continue to prove this.
- YOU DON’T HAVE TO “TRADE” BITCOIN
Bitcoin, although it is possible to use it for gambling and day trading, etc. – is best held long-term. If you plan on holding some, don’t expect for it to triple in value overnight. You should have an outlook of YEARS when considering bitcoin, because anything less than that is just setting yourself up to be chopped around by the markets, and other more skilled people will get your bitcoin.
Unless you know what you are doing in the trading world, it is usually always better to DCA ( dollar cost average, where you buy X amount every X days & over time you accumulate ) and hold that in a bitcoin cold storage wallet.
- NOT YOUR KEYS, NOT YOUR CRYPTO.
If you are new to the space and you just want to get your feet wet and get a feel for the market, it is common to just download an app like Coinbase, or Strike. You can connect a bank account or paypal or whatever you want to it and a few clicks later – you own some Bitcoin. Theres even a page on this site with links to both.
These kind of legit apps are great for beginning, but you should know that what you actually have in your possession is just an IOU, from these companies, for the dollar amount of your bitcoin. If anything happens like a company gets hacked, or an app becomes compromised through a third party – you could lose everything.
This is why a cold storage wallet is always the best option. You can get these from ledger, they make great ones but there are also more companies if you look online. It may seem complex at first when learning how to set up your cold storage wallet, but it is a fairly easy process once you do it a few times. Try it with a tiny amount of bitcoin first until you are comfortable with the process. Once you have it down – you are officially “hodling” bitcoin and your bitcoin is as safe as bitcoin can be.
- NO ONE KNOWS WHO CREATED BITCOIN.
That’s right, no one knows who Satoshi Nakamoto was. Satoshi Nakamoto is credited with creating bitcoin in 2009 – but remains anonymous even to this day. There have been impersonators who claim that they were satoshi – but NO ONE has ever been able to prove the answer to “who is Satoshi Nakamoto”. Maybe one day the world will know – but until then it remains 100% a mystery.
- BITCOIN CAN NOT BE “BANNED”.
Bitcoin as a protocol ( the ability to transfer value as digital information across a decentralized network with zero trust ) simply exists. It is an invention – like the printing press or swords. There is no way to “ban” the knowledge that automobiles exist, right? So even if automobiles were banned, people would still build them to get around places. Bitcoin is like that.
When a government ( cough cough looking at you, China ) says the have or will “Ban” bitcoin – they are actually announcing that they plan to prevent people from participating in that activity through force or coercion. Bitcoin was built to resist EXACTLY that. That is why you will see people laughing when someone suggests it could be “Banned” somewhere – because it simply can’t & has remained resistant to censorship since day one.
- YOU CAN BUY A PIECE OF A BITCOIN.
You don’t have to buy an ENTIRE bitcoin in order to hold bitcoin. I’ve heard from many people who say ” I can’t afford X amount for a bitcoin”. But they don’t know you can purchase 1 dollars worth of a bitcoin, really any amount at all. That fiat will be converted into something called “satoshis”. There are 21 million “satoshis” per 1 bitcoin. There will only EVER be 21 million Bitcoin- of which only around 2 million are left to be “mined” between now and 2140.
In fact, out of the 7.9 BILLION people on the planet, less than ONE MILLION of them own at least 1 bitcoin. So, you do the math. It doesn’t matter what the price of bitcoin is today, as long as Bitcoin keeps going, so will the value.