Cryptocurrencies are expected to grow
Cryptocurrencies are one of the most important inventions since the inception of the web. They are ushering in a new era of decentralisation, privacy, and control of one’s own data that has the potential to revolutionise many parts of society. There are currently over one thousand cryptocurrencies in use, with hundreds more being released each year. Their combined market cap has grown from £10 billion USD in 2016, to over £250 billion in 2020.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency which isn’t managed by a bank or agency but in which transactions are recorded in the blockchain that is public and contains records of each and every transaction that takes place. The cryptocurrency is traded by individuals with cryptographic keys that act as wallets. Bitcoin was first invented in 2009 by an anonymous founder known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoins are moved in blocks every 10 minutes on a decentralized ledger that connects blocks into a coherent chain dating back to the first genesis block. It was originally described as a peer-to-peer electronic cash but the technology has evolved to emphasize being a settlement layer rather than a payment network. This has left integrated second layer solutions, like Lightning Network, to prioritise that use case. It has remained the largest cryptocurrency by market cap.