How often do Bitcoin prices change? Bitcoin price can fluctuate constantly; there is no FDIC or other support mechanisms, so the price can fall dramatically, as well. Since Bitcoins do not necessarily trade on set time frame like the stock market, they trade 24 hours a day 7 days a week for 365 days a year. Bitcoin doesn’t “shut down”. And now with Satellites you can trade Bitcoins without the internet.
Can Bitcoin be hacked? Essentially “No”, The Bitcoin system has never been hacked in its 10 years of existence, however the better question one should ask is IF exchanges have been hacked (where you buy and sell you Bitcoins, for Paper money-like the US Dollar). The answer to that question is a resounding “YES” and it’s only a matter of time before your exchange gets “hacked”. This is exactly why WE DO NOT recommend you hold any significant amount of Bitcoins on an exchange. Because these exchanges are the “honey pots” the thieves are looking for to steal your funds.
So you are probably asking ”Can Bitcoin be stolen?” The simple answer is YES and NO depending upon how EASY or HARD you make it for the thieves. There are varying levels of security just by how you take control and hold your Bitcoins, such as:
Private Keys-This is the phrase you or the wallet creates when you set up your Bitcoin wallet. The worst Private Key phrases are simple ones you can remember (If you can remember it, it probably can be hacked in a matter of minutes).
Exchange: Probably the BEST way to have your Bitcoins Stolen or lost. You see if you your Bitcoins in an exchange you are at a high risk for having your funds stolen. This could be due to a hacker, a bad employee, or even a bad owner. In our opinion IT’S NOT WORTH THE RISK.
Warm Wallet: This is either a wallet you place on your computer/phone or tablet , this is one you take personal responsibility for and control your private key. (Large amounts of Crypto’s should never be stored in this fashion). Your level of security here also depends on whether you have personally verified the software for your Bitcoin wallet, and that it came from the developer and not some “bad actor”.
Hardware Wallet: This would be the next best security measure for storing your Bitcoins. However this has risks as well, such as:
…did you buy your hardware wallet from the actual manufacturer of the product and not some re-seller, such as Amazon? (If you buy it from a re-seller, they may have already stolen the private keys of your Hardware wallet before you got it). Plus you are also trusting that someone inside the hardware wallet company didn’t copy your private keys down and at a later date to steal all of your Bitcoins. Again do you want to take these chances?
Cold Storage: This is probably one of the safest ways to store your Bitcoins so they never get stolen (it is also not real convenient to get them out). You also must verify the software came from the developer, and you set up your wallet(s), to place your Bitcoins in.
Cold Storage with multi-signatures-This has to be the ultimate in safe Bitcoin storage as it completes the step above AND it requires multiple people (Sig’s-Signatures) to sign off on the transaction in order for the Bitcoins to move. Anything less than this for a securing your Bitcoins could be very risky, (in our opinion).
Of course we could go on with other little tricks you can do to keep your coins safe. But that is where your education comes into play.
How many Bitcoin are lost? This question comes up a lot, and nobody really knows the answer. As how many Bitcoins are lost, could vary a lot. If people have lost their private keys, those would be lost. If people threw away their laptop with their Bitcoins on them, those would be lost. Some experts are predicting as many as 4 to 5 Million Bitcoins are permanently gone. So that takes the total supply down from 21 Million to 16-17 Million for the entire world to fight over the ownership of for the rest of eternity.
How many Bitcoin wallets are there? We believe this is a good reflection of how strong the Bitcoin industry is, and as of this writing there are 46 Billion Bitcoin Wallets users according to blockchain.info, along with a very strong up trend line in place. We believe this is a positive trend for this industry.