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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 transactionsBitcoins can be stored in a virtual wallet and used to buy other currencies or real world goods
Where once a single bitcoin has been 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 cases where individuals mined thousands of comparatively useless bitcoins as a hobby years ago, only to now realise they're 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 also the blockchain technology was created 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 into Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation.Over years numerous people have claimed to be 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 eighth decimal place (0.00000001BTC) to buy smaller goods using just a fraction of these coin.How do you shop or send bitcoinYou can shop and send bitcoins from an encrypted electronic wallet, which can be run as an app on your computer.The wallet works using two keys that a private key and a public key which look like 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 allows you to send any bitcoins connected with it.
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If the website gets hacked or someone gets your login information that they could access and drain your funds from the exchange.There is no way for a transaction to be revoked or revoked if a burglar sends your bitcoins to their wallet.After buying your coins you need to transfer them to a secure digital pocket made 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 web a paper wallet) and stick it in a safe.If you don't store the personal key on your computer or online then recipients can never break in and get your funds.
Bitcoin means different things to different individuals. For some, it's a future of freely moving currency untied i thought about this to any central bank. To others, it is a purely digital entity of questionable worth and dubious origin. However, what's Bitcoin, in the most basic senseIn most casual conversations, you can get away with knowing that bitcoin is, essentially, an electronic currency.
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In fact, it is two much more complex 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 a digital currency (bitcoin, lowercase). Bitcoin the stage is built on the concept of evidence of work information that is expensive and time-intensive to produce but can be readily verified.
To mine a bitcoin, a computer has to complete a complicated algorithm, essentially going through the work of an extensive calculation in exchange for some newly minted currency. That piece of digital currency is worth whatever the market decides through supply and demand.Transactions are connected to a users Bitcoin speech, which can be stored on its general ledger, called the blockchain.
This relative anonymity makes the platform appealing for things like incognito purchases within the internet.A key component of Bitcoins blockchain is the simple fact that it is an open, distributed ledger. Through the dispersed nature of the ledger, the transactions on the blockchain are verified by the consensus of each member, offering protection and trust without a third-party overseer.One of the most important things to keep in mind when thinking about exactly what Bitcoin (or bitcoin) is: there is no single answer.