Over the years, Bitcoin has increasingly gained attention being the first form of its kind; a cryptocurrency. Owing to its decentralized state, there have been massive fluctuations in its prices which leads to its uncertainty in the market. Currently, there are slightly above 16.5 million Bitcoins in circulation. As at December 2017, the rate of exchange was at 1 BTC=16,000$. This is one of the biggest fluctuations in the price movement considering that as at February 2017, the price of 1 bitcoin was less than $1050.
As mentioned above, bitcoin is decentralized. What this means is that it is not regulated by any government through its central bank. This means that its prices can soar up to unbelievably high prices and in the same way can fall thus leading to crazy profits or crazy losses.
Unlike other physical currencies that are owned by the governments of the countries that they belong, no government can lay a claim on bitcoin. This means that how bitcoin plays in the market is left purely to the market and laws of demand and supply. Again, owing to its limited supply, there is an ever-growing need for it. A high demand leads to its prices continuing to rise even though there are various shorter fluctuations. Its trend is upwards.
There are majorly two ways through which you can earn Bitcoins; you can either mine them through solving complex mathematical problems or you can buy them with actual money.
The mining process is quite complex but explained; it involves solving the complex mathematical puzzles and then getting rewarded with Bitcoins. Those that solve the puzzles first get rewarded with Bitcoins. The cracking of the puzzles is usually done through mining software.
Initially, people were able to mine Bitcoins using the CPUs of their personal computers. However as more and more people turned to bitcoin mining, it became harder and harder to mine Bitcoins through the use of PCs. Today, to mine Bitcoins you need to have special bitcoin mining hardware. Some of the best know hardware include; Antminer S7, Antminer S9, and Avalon6.
Together with the software, you will need to download a special bitcoin mining software. You will also need to join a bitcoin pool to capitalize on the earnings. What a pool does is they work together to solve the mathematical puzzles, and the earned Bitcoins are divided amongst the members of the team. Lastly, you will need to set up a bitcoin wallet where you will store your earned Bitcoins. The Bitcoins you earn will be sent directly to your wallet through a unique address that belongs specifically to you.
Buying Bitcoins in Singapore
There are usually three ways that through which one may buy Bitcoins in Singapore; Bitcoin exchange, Bitcoin ATM or through third-party brokers.
Bitcoin exchanges are just like the normal currency exchange institutions that exist today. They bring together bitcoin buyers and sellers and earn commissions from the transactions. The major ones are itBit, FYB-SG, and CoinHako.
Bitcoin ATMs work like the normal ATMs where one can deposit cash then convert it into Bitcoins or withdraw Bitcoins then get them in the SGD.
Third-party brokers are people who link interested parties to Bitcoin Exchanges. They are however on a decline as people are able o buy Bitcoins directly from the exchanges.
When it comes to the bitcoin wallets, there are several wallet services that one may choose from. International ones are US-based Coinbase and Blockchain.info. Local wallets in Singapore are Coinhako and Luno.