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Essential pointsBitcoin is a digital currency known as a cryptocurrencyThe peer-to-peer technology underpinning it is known as the blockchain a people ledger of all transactionsBitcoins can be stored in a virtual wallet and used to buy other currencies or real world goods
Where once a single bitcoin was worth a few cents it's now worth about $9,200 per coin (November 2017), creating millionaires in the process.There have been many reported instances where people mined thousands of relatively worthless bitcoins as a hobby years ago, only to now realise they are rich.One IT worker even threw out a hard disk containing 7,500 bitcoins.
This is done without a central authority or bank.Who created itBitcoin and also the blockchain technology was made by someone under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto and released 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 years numerous people have claimed to become Satoshi, including Australian computer scientist Craig Wright.
Once the limit is reached, no longer bitcoins can be made.However, a single bitcoin can be subdivided as far down as the decimal place (0.00000001BTC) to buy smaller goods using only a fraction of the coin.How would you shop or send bitcoinYou can shop and send bitcoins from an encrypted digital wallet, which is run as an app on your computer.The wallet functions using two keys a private key and a public key which look like a seemingly random string of numbers and letters.The private key is kept secret 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 web site gets hacked or someone gets your login details they can get and drain your funds from the exchange.There is no way to get a transaction to be reversed or recovered if a burglar sends your bitcoins to their wallet.After buying your coins you should transfer them to a secure digital wallet created by you and not hosted online.You can even write down the pocket's personal key on a piece of paper (that is known as a paper wallet) and stick it in a safe.If you don't save the personal key on your computer or online then recipients can never break in and get your funds.
Bitcoin means different things to different people. For many, it is a future of freely moving currency untied to any central bank. To others, it is a purely electronic entity of questionable value and dubious origin. However, what's Bitcoin, in the most elementary senseIn most casual conversations, you can eliminate knowing that bitcoin is, basically, a digital currency.
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In fact, it is two much more complicated things.Bitcoin has been with us since 2009, when a person (or group) under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto introduced a stage (Bitcoin, uppercase) that hosts an electronic currency (bitcoin, lowercase). Bitcoin the stage is built on the concept of proof of work information which is expensive and time-intensive to create but can be readily verified.
To mine a bitcoin, a computer has to finish a complicated algorithm, essentially going through the job of an extensive calculation in exchange for a few newly minted currency. That bit of digital currency is worth whatever the market determines through supply and demand.Transactions are connected to a users Bitcoin address, which is saved on its general ledger, called the blockchain.
This comparative anonymity makes the platform appealing for things such as incognito purchases over the internet.A key component of Bitcoins blockchain is the fact that it is an open, distributed ledger. Throughout the distributed nature of the ledger, the transactions on the blockchain are confirmed from the consensus of each member, offering security and trust with no third-party overseer.One of the most important things to bear in mind when thinking about exactly what Bitcoin (or even bitcoin) is: there is no visit single answer.