From the space race to the crypto chase. Bitcoin opens a new era of technology
60 years ago, on 12 April 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to travel into space and the first man to orbit the planet, a feat accomplished in just 89 minutes. Gagarin's space flight was a milestone for humankind as a whole and signified a tipping point of technology: the impossible made possible.
Today, we can see ourselves on the cusp of a similar paradigm shift driven by technology. Even the wildest of science fiction in the 1950s and '60s that imagined colonies on the Moon and Mars couldn't even have guessed at the Internet's revolutionary potential. Now Bitcoin, spearheading cryptocurrency as a whole, is breaking the threshold and realising its potential. In doing so, it possibly hints at a paradigm shift as profound as when Gagarin breached the cosmos.
BTC poised to break institutional barriers
It's not an exaggeration to say that, in a global society where money is so important, a technological revolution in finance would not also be a historic landmark. After over a decade of being relegated to the ghetto of niche Internet subculture, Bitcoin is finally getting the recognition it deserves and a market value to prove it. As well as reaching stratospheric heights in terms of price, BTC and cryptocurrencies are also bringing us closer to a new financial system that can be truly institutionally independent.
A strong indicator of this is that the same institutions that previously derided Bitcoin now can't get enough of it. One such case is Citi Global Perspectives & Solutions. In a recent report titled Bitcoin: At the Tipping Point, they admit to scoffing at Bitcoin in 2014, calling it a 'wannabe asset'. Now, however, they've acknowledged it as the centre of a whole new financial ecosystem that attracts investors to this 'digital gold' as a hedge against inflation.
More people are also holding on to Bitcoin for longer: 50% has been held for at least one year, and over 10% of Bitcoin has been held for 5 years or more. This marks a shift from investors seeing Bitcoin as a short-term speculative gamble and more as a serious long-term investment for a diverse portfolio.
The success of Bitcoin — which hit $1 trillion market capitalisation in February and, at the time of writing, is selling for $58K per coin — has pressured many established financial institutions not just to invest in BTC and the wider constellation of cryptocurrencies but also to consider coming up with their own digital assets. Just as with the space race, there is a competition afoot. But Bitcoin, the first mover, may still win out over any big institutions' attempts to colonise crypto.
The Citi report even claims that in 7 years, Bitcoin could become the currency of choice for international trade due to many factors. These include its global reach, neutrality and decentralised design, fast (and potentially cheaper) transactions, secure payment channels and traceability. Free from foreign exchange exposure, BTC can easily overcome many existing hurdles to cross-border transactions in an increasingly (and inevitably) globalised financial system. Other cryptocurrencies, such as Ripple, are also looking to fill this role, but BTC remains ahead in the race.
The study also highlighted the increasing reliability and security of crypto exchanges, which have improved their infrastructures to become more secure, trustworthy and connected to traditional banking methods. It's now easier and safer than ever to buy crypto with a bank card and store it on an exchange, far from the leap into the unknown that it used to be.
StormGain, the crypto platform pioneer
At this historic tipping point in finance technology, it is more important than ever to choose the crypto exchange that works best for you. Available on the web or as a smartphone app, StormGain remains the leader of the pack, offering not just a full range of crypto assets and indices for purchase and exchange with up to 300x leverage and low fees but also secure built-in-wallets for storing your digital assets and even an integrated Bitcoin cloud miner that earns BTC for you while you trade. Registering with StormGain is easy and takes just a few seconds. Sign up now to try StormGain and see for yourself!