Cryptocurrencies are the future of monetary transactions, and bitcoin is primed to be the system of choice for the majority of consumers. Bitcoins have been around since 2010, but the idea for them was thought up years before. Simply put, bitcoins and all other cryptocurrencies use encryption to regulate and validate transactions, and they have no centralized controlling entity watching over them. One of the biggest complaints with standard paper money is that centralized banks are run by people who have their own interests, and it is possible for those interests to interfere with the autonomy of the system. Bitcoin has no agency regulating the behavior of the system, so it relies solely on the trust between those who use the system.
A Volatile Currency
The nature of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin create many fluctuations in the value of the currencies, which is controlled by the whims of the market. You can acquire bitcoins in a number of different ways, but the first step is gaining a bitcoin wallet that can store your bitcoins. The wallet is typically a software application that works just like a real wallet, but for digital currency. Once you have a wallet, you can get bitcoins by accepting them as payment for services or goods you might sell, by buying them directly from bitcoin exchanges, or by mining new bitcoins on your own. You could also visit a bitcoin faucet, which is a game or app that pays users for their attention in bitcoins, but those methods usually don’t pay out enough to warrant taking a large amount of your attention.
As bitcoins change hands, the price of each bitcoin changes very slightly, much like how a stock ticker shows the tiny fluctuations that make stock prices rise and fall. It may be worrisome to some in the network, because if someone were to have the idea to corner the market, it would cause the value of bitcoins to fluctuate wildly, or even cause the currency to collapse all together. Hypothetically speaking, if someone were to buy every bitcoin in existence, then yes, the currency would collapse. Of course, no one in their right mind would do such a thing, because it would involve them trading their hard-earned ‘real’ cash for what would then become worthless bitcoins. Yes, the person in question would own all the bitcoins, but if no one wants them anymore, they are worthless.
It’s Not Possible
There is literally no way that someone could buy all the bitcoins, even if enough funds were available to cover the cost. Due to the way the bitcoin system works, there are only about 75 percent of all potential bitcoins in circulation. The reason for this is the way the system creates bitcoins as a result of miners verifying bitcoin transactions. Another 25 bitcoins are generated every 10 minutes, but that number will continuously be halved over the lifetime of the system, such that all bitcoins won’t be mined until about 2140. Unless investors are able to miraculously live to that age somehow, no one alive today will ever own every bitcoin.
Additionally, you must consider the fact that a lot of bitcoins aren’t for sale. Many people have their own stash of bitcoins in their bitcoin wallet, and they don’t have to sell or even use those coins if they don’t want to. It would be like trying to collect every physical dollar in the world. You may succeed in getting a large chunk of it, but it would be nearly impossible to convince everyone to let go of their hard cash. And again, even if someone succeeded, it would make that currency irrelevant. Such a course of action would only be taken by a James Bond villain.
The question behind the question of a single person buying all the bitcoins is a valid one. It points to a general fear of loss due to the investment, and because of the volatile nature of bitcoin values, it is a legitimate fear. That is why you should pay close attention to bitcoin pricing if you are invested with them, especially if you fear losing your money. Of course, those who are invested for the long term are more concerned with the future of bitcoin than its current beginning phases, because they’ve learned to trust in the currency for it is. It is a true free market that relies entirely on the will of the people using it. It is a closed system that can not be manipulated from the outside, and it falls under no ownership. It is possibly as close to a system of ‘cash for the internet’ as we will ever get. It will be improved upon, and tweaked, and perfected over its life, but for now it is exactly what it needs to be: a first step in the right direction.