Bitcoins have taken the world by a storm, due to an increase in their accessibility and availability. These numbers distributes in ledgers in a Blockchain, which are proving to be a revolution in the crypto asset world, have been founded by an anonymous group of users, known as Satoshi Nakamoto. It is not regulated, monitored, or issued by a central government authority, and doesn’t exist on paper, just digitally. Its anonymity made it popular for carrying out illegal activities on the internet, but due to its acceptance among retailers and financial hedge funds, it is becoming more desirable due to the many characteristics that make it stand out.
Bitcoin is proving to be a very profitable investment, as its price has soared from less than $1 in July 2010, to more than $16,400 as of 7th January 2018. Bitcoins can be ‘mined’ online, which serves a dual purpose: it creates new bitcoins to aid the money supply, and also secures and verifies the entire blockchain, which can be summed up as a public ledger of every transaction. This can also serve to confirm and validate non-Bitcoin transactions, and enables the application of decentralized public ledgers for purposes other than digital currencies. For example, if a company wants to go public, which is an extremely expensive process, they can issue shares directly via the blockchain, which can be bought or sold on a secondary market.
So the technology behind Bitcoin itself improves the functionality and applicability of this cryptoasset.
The limited supply also contributes to the surging price of the Bitcoin. Like gold, Bitcoin is mined digitally, and hence, has a limited and finite supply. In fact, only 21 million Bitcoins can be mined, in total. This is one of the biggest reasons why this cryptoasset is getting more expensive by the second, and currently the total number of mined Bitcoins has crossed the 16 million mark.
Perhaps one of the most significant reasons why Bitcoins are on the rise, is due to its extended availability and reach. New users are testing the limits of a system, which for almost a decade, have gone untested due to various inhibitions associated with it. One of the biggest reasons why more and more people are investing in Bitcoins is due to improved security and anonymity.
Hence, these factors make Bitcoin an interesting and desirable gifting idea for people eager to invest in digital currencies and who wish to know more about them. It can also be used to introduce the concept of cryptoassets to others, hence fuelling the fire of this online revolution and changing the way we look at digital currencies.
How to Gift a Bitcoin?
Gifting someone a Bitcoin is an imperfect midpoint between gifting a savings bond, and a lottery ticket, according to Dave Gershgorn. This is because like a savings bond, it has intrinsic value that you pass on to the recipient, but like a scratch off, it could be worth much more in the future than you initially paid for it.
To buy a Bitcoin, one has to set up a digital wallet to store them and then link it to the place from where you will buy them. Unocoin is one of the most popular applications for buying Bitcoins, where you can create an account and link it to your bank, and can also be used to sell coins, with a transaction fees.
After buying the Bitcoin, you can send it to the recipient in a variety of ways. Unocoin supports sending BTC to an email address from their ‘Send BTC’ tab. Also, their web platform allows you to generate paper wallets which can be funded with specific BTC amount for gifting. It is best to gift BTC through a ‘Paper Wallet’ which contains public and private keys to the transaction corresponding on the blockchain.
Another rather expensive way of gifting a Bitcoin in a more grand way is through a ‘Hardware Wallet’ which is a tiny computer that looks like a USB drive, designed solely for the purpose of storing Bitcoins.
Is it too risky?
Virtual wallets are almost always subjected to hacking and theft. If the recipient is not careful enough, the key to these Bitcoins may be stolen, along with the Bitcoin. Hence, it is an extremely meticulous and discreet process, and must be carried out with the utmost consideration.
Another risk factor is its fluctuating price. The value of Bitcoins vary overtime, and many fear that in the coming years it could drop down to where it initially started. The disappointment and frustration due to this loss will probably turn your gift into a nightmarish experience, which you wish you had not made.
Hence, keeping these risk factors in mind, and depending on your budget, gifting Bitcoins is an unconventional and creative idea, that might turn out to be very fruitful in the future.