After their birth, cryptocurrencies experienced a sensational media hype that began to decline in 2018, when a collapse in capitalisation led to the so-called ‘Crypto Winter’.
In particular, three fundamental factors intervened to undermine the stability of cryptocurrencies:
- the risk of becoming an easy tool for financial speculation,
- the slowness of the transactions,
- the too high consumption of energy during mining, that is, occurring during the validation process of the Bitcoin network.
A relatively short 'winter', if we consider that during 2021 cryptocurrencies began flying again: the company ChainAnalysis has in fact highlighted how between the end of 2019 and mid-2021, the use of cryptocurrencies increased by +2500%.
On the other hand, the technology underlying cryptocurrencies has never known down phases: indeed, the blockchain is not onlycontinuously evolving, but more and more companies are observing it with interest and attention, acknowledging one of the most revolutionary technologies of recent years.
Where are Bitcoins/cryptocurrencies stored?
Bitcoins are a virtual currency, as such not issued by any central bank (a mechanism that was questioned in the G7 in Washington in October 2021, during which there was talk of a Central Bank Digital Currency, that is, the possibility that central banks could issue cryptocurrencies was addressed).
In any case, there are shared databases within which Bitcoins are stored and which, thanks to cryptographic systems, keep track of transactions, generate new currency and attribute this to the owners.
These Cryptocurrencies are then stored in a virtual wallet and saved in a specific wallet which is associated with a private key that allows the owner of the address to control his/her own 'account', as well as to receive and make payments and carry out transactions.
There are many types of wallets, with different characteristics depending on the needs of the holder; just to name a few, there are the full wallet, the lightweight wallet, the hardware wallet, the paper wallet, the hot wallet and cold wallet, the HD wallet, the SPV wallet.