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Essential pointsBitcoin is a digital currency known as a cryptocurrencyThe peer-to-peer technology underpinning it's known as the blockchain a public ledger of all transactionsBitcoins can be stored in a digital wallet and used to Purchase 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 instances where individuals mined thousands of relatively worthless bitcoins as a hobby years ago, only to now realise they are rich.One IT employee even threw out a hard drive containing 7,500 bitcoins.
All this is done with no central authority or bank.Who created itBitcoin and the blockchain technology was made by someone under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto and published as a working beta in 2009. Satoshi's true identity remains a mystery as he vanished from the scene in 2010 after seemingly handing over the reins into Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist in the Bitcoin Foundation.Over the years numerous individuals have promised 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 do you shop or send bitcoinYou can shop and send bitcoins from an encrypted electronic wallet, which can be run as a program 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 lets you send any bitcoins associated with that.
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If the website gets hacked or someone gets your login details they could get and drain your funds from the exchange.There is no way to get a transaction to be revoked or revoked if a burglar sends your bitcoins for their wallet.After buying your coins you should transfer them into a secure digital wallet created by you and not hosted online.You can even write down the wallet's private key on a sheet of paper (this is known as a paper wallet) and stick it in a safe.If you don't save the private key on your computer or online then recipients can never break in and get your this post 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's a purely digital entity of questionable value and dubious origin. However, what's Bitcoin, in the most elementary senseIn most casual conversations, you can get away with knowing that bitcoin is, essentially, a digital currency.
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In fact, it is two considerably more complicated things.Bitcoin has been with us since 2009, when a read 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 that is expensive and time-intensive to create but can be easily verified.
To mine a bitcoin, a computer has to complete a complicated algorithm, essentially going through the job of an extensive calculation in exchange for some newly minted currency. That piece of electronic currency is worth whatever the market determines through distribution and demand.Transactions are connected to some users Bitcoin address, which can be saved on its general ledger, called the blockchain.
This comparative anonymity makes the platform appealing for things such as incognito purchases within the internet.A key component of Bitcoins blockchain is the simple fact that it is an open, distributed ledger. Throughout the dispersed nature of this ledger, the transactions on the blockchain are verified by the consensus of each member, offering security and trust without a third-party overseer.One of the most important things to keep in mind when thinking about what Bitcoin (or bitcoin) is: that there is no single answer.