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Key pointsBitcoin is an electronic 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 virtual 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 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.
This is done with no central authority or bank.Who generated 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 mystery as he disappeared from the scene in 2010 after seemingly handing over the reins into Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist in the Bitcoin Foundation.Over 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 purchase smaller goods using just a fraction of the coin.How do you store 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 functions 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 secret by you and acts as a password that unlocks the wallet and allows you to send any bitcoins associated with that.
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In case the website gets hacked or someone gets your login details 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 wallet created by you and not hosted online.You can even write down the pocket's personal key on a sheet of paper (this is known as a newspaper 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 access your funds.
Bitcoin means different things to different people. For many, it is a future of moving currency untied to any central bank. To the others, it is a purely electronic entity of questionable value and doubtful origin. But what's Bitcoin, in the most basic senseIn most casual conversations, you can eliminate knowing that bitcoin is, essentially, a digital currency.
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In reality, 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 an electronic currency (bitcoin, lowercase). Bitcoin the platform is built on the concept of evidence 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 work 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 system appealing for things such as incognito purchases within the internet.A key component of Bitcoins blockchain is the simple fact it is an open, distributed ledger. Through the distributed nature of this ledger, the transactions on the blockchain are confirmed from 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 additional resources about what Bitcoin (or even bitcoin) is: there is no single answer.