Bitcoin (ticker symbol: BTC) is the leading currency in the crypto industry and the undisputed No. 1 by market capitalization. Since its launch in 2009, Bitcoin has experienced enormous growth in price and distribution.
It has been the first digital currency with a real impact and is also perceived by the general public as the crypto currency with which it all began. The maximum amount in circulation is limited to 21,000,000 BTC and a proof-of-work algorithm prescribes the creation of new units.
Are Bitcoins real?
There are often many ambiguities and misunderstandings when talking about cryptocurrencies and block chaining in general. The question often arises whether Bitcoins are real at all. But what is actually real? Does real mean that something can be touched, felt or grasped? To cut a long story short, Bitcoins are not touchable.
Unless you store them in a hardware wallet or on a smartphone, but even then only the device storing the Bitcoins is actually touchable and not the Bitcoins themselves. The property that something must be touchable, tactile or tangible, as a criterion for a real thing, is logically wrong.
What is a Bitcoin?
Bitcoins exist as the product of cryptographic code that governs their creation and transfer. To create Bitcoins, Miners provide their computing power to become part of the network by solving mathematical problems.
When the Miners find a block, they receive some sort of reward or work compensation in BTC. Selling these earned coins on crypto exchanges ensures that new Bitcoins are put into circulation. Various security mechanisms in the network make it almost impossible to make double-spends or fraudulent changes to the block chain.
An up-to-date copy of the block chain is stored on every device that provides its computing power to the network. This block chain can be viewed by anyone at any time from the first block from 03 January 2009 until today. Even if you cannot touch or feel the Bitcoins, they still exist as a product of a code in wallets and transactions in the distributed database. Their current owner address and movements are openly traceable.
So are Bitcoins real? Yes, they are, very much so. They can be compared to the money that you store in bank and savings accounts, debit cards, PayPal accounts, etc. The difference is that all of the above locations are centralized, which means that intermediate entities or third parties could access and freeze the funds.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, is so decentralized that only the owner of the Private Keys can access the credit of a Bitcoin address and no one else.