October 31 marks a big day for cryptocurrency – the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin.
But traders and investors are waiting with bated breath to see if Bitcoin’s birthday value dips below that of the previous birthday for only the second time.
A year ago, Bitcoin was trading at $6124.28 against the US Dollar on the eve of a huge spike that took the value to a record $19,345.49 on December 16, 2017.
Today, Bitcoin is trading at $6,318.41 and besides a few dips and peaks, has followed a downward trend since those eyewatering prices of a year ago.
To be fair, the price has been flat since the start of August, when the rate plateaued at around the $6,200 to $6,300 mark with a rally to $7,369 in September.
Although Bitcoin did not start serious trading until January 2009, the shadowy Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of cryptocurrency, published his celebrated white paper introducing the concept a couple of months earlier.
Nakamoto has never come forward to claim his place in history and little is known about him.
Cryptocurrency became a reality when he mined the first Bitcoin in January 2009. This Bitcoin is termed ‘the genesis block’.
Nakamoto reportedly mined a million Bitcoin before disappearing without trace – a fortune valued at $6.3 billion by the current trading rate.
Bitcoin has spawned the blockchain and around 200 other coins and tokens.
Coming of age for cryptocurrency
The blockchain is considered a major technological advance offering secure data storage and transfer online.
Traders and investors can buy Bitcoin from third parties or mine the cryptocurrency by harnessing powerful computers to solve complex algorithms.
The supply is limited at 21 million Bitcoin, with a current global supply of 17.35 million.
Experts believe Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will increase in value over time.
One cryptocurrency commentator, Nigel Green, who heads the leading financial advice firm deVere Group, considers Bitcoin has come of age.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that cryptocurrencies are the future of money. This is evidenced by bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency turning 10, and by more and more governments, regulators, financial institutions, and retail and institutional investors, amongst others, appreciating the real and growing demand for digital, global currencies in today’s ever more digitalised and globalised world,” he said.