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Key pointsBitcoin is an electronic currency known as a cryptocurrencyThe peer-to-peer technology underpinning it is known as the blockchain a public ledger of all transactionsBitcoins can be stored in a virtual wallet and used to Purchase other currencies or actual world goods
Where once a single bitcoin has been worth a few cents it is now worth about $9,200 per coin (November 2017), creating millionaires in the process.There have been many reported cases where people mined thousands of comparatively useless bitcoins as a hobby years ago, only to now realise they are rich.One IT worker even threw out a hard drive containing 7,500 bitcoins.
All this is done without a central authority or bank.Who created itBitcoin and the blockchain technology was created by someone under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto and published as a working beta in 2009. Satoshi's true identity remains a puzzle as he disappeared from the scene in 2010 after seemingly handing over the reins to Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation.Over the years numerous individuals have claimed to be Satoshi, including Australian computer scientist Craig Wright.
Once the limit is reached, no more bitcoins can be made.However, a single bitcoin can be subdivided as far down as the eighth decimal place (0.00000001BTC) to buy smaller goods using only a fraction of the coin.How do you shop or send bitcoinYou can store and send bitcoins from an encrypted electronic wallet, which can be run as an app on your computer.The wallet works with two keys a private key and a public key which look to be a seemingly random string of numbers and letters.The private key is kept confidential by you and acts as a password that unlocks the wallet and lets you send any bitcoins associated with that.
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If the website gets hacked or someone gets your login information that they could get and drain your funds from the exchange.There is no way for a transaction to be reversed or recovered if a burglar sends your bitcoins to their wallet.After buying your coins you need to transfer them into a secure digital pocket made by you and not hosted online.You can even write down the wallet's private key on a sheet of paper (that is known as a newspaper wallet) and stick it in a safe.If you don't save the private key on your computer or online then hackers can never break in and access your funds.
Bitcoin means different things to different people. For some, it is a future of moving currency untied to any central bank. To the others, it is a purely digital entity of questionable value and dubious origin. However, what is Bitcoin, in the most elementary senseIn most casual conversations, you can get away with knowing that bitcoin is, basically, an electronic currency.
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In fact, it is two considerably more complex things.Bitcoin has been with us since 2009, when a person (or group) under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto introduced a platform (Bitcoin, uppercase) that hosts a digital currency (bitcoin, lowercase). Bitcoin the platform is built on the concept of proof of work data which is expensive and time-intensive to produce but can be easily verified.
To mine a bitcoin, a computer must finish a complicated algorithm, essentially going through the job of an extensive calculation in exchange for a few newly minted find out here currency. That piece of electronic currency is worth whatever the market determines through supply and demand.Transactions are connected to some users Bitcoin address, which is stored on its general ledger, called the blockchain.
This relative anonymity makes the system appealing for things such as incognito purchases over the internet.A key component of Bitcoins blockchain is the simple fact that it is an open, distributed ledger. Through the distributed nature of the ledger, the transactions on the blockchain are confirmed from the consensus of every member, offering protection and trust without a third-party overseer.One of the most important things to keep in mind when thinking about what Bitcoin (or even bitcoin) is: that there is no single answer.