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Essential 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 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 worthless bitcoins as a hobby years back, 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 generated itBitcoin and 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 into Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation.Over years numerous people have promised to be Satoshi, including Australian computer scientist Craig Wright.
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If the website gets hacked or someone gets your login details that they can access and drain your funds from the exchange.There is no way for a browse around here transaction to be reversed or recovered if a burglar sends your bitcoins to their wallet.After buying your coins you need to transfer them to 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 newspaper wallet) and stick it in a safe.If you don't store the private 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 moving currency untied to any central bank. To the others, it is a purely digital entity of questionable worth and dubious origin. But what is Bitcoin, in the most elementary senseIn most casual conversations, you can get away with my response knowing that bitcoin is, basically, a digital currency.
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In reality, 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 platform (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 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 some newly minted currency. That piece of electronic currency is worth whatever the market decides through distribution and demand.Transactions are connected to some users Bitcoin speech, which can be stored on its general ledger, called the blockchain.