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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 Purchase other currencies or real world goods
Where once a single bitcoin has been worth a few cents it is 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 comparatively useless bitcoins as a hobby years back, only to now realise they are rich.One IT employee even threw out a hard drive containing 7,500 bitcoins.
All 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 published 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 in the Bitcoin Foundation.Over years numerous people have claimed to be Satoshi, including Australian computer scientist Craig Wright.
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In case 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 for a transaction to be reversed or recovered if a thief sends your bitcoins to their wallet.After buying your coins you should transfer them to a secure digital pocket made by you and not Look At This hosted online.You can even write down the wallet's private key on a piece of paper (this is known as a paper wallet) and stick it in a safe.If you don't save the personal key on your pc or online then hackers can never break in and get your funds.
Bitcoin means different things to different people. For many, it's a future of moving currency untied to any central bank. To others, it is a purely digital entity of questionable value and doubtful origin. However, what is Bitcoin, in the most basic 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 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 stage is built on the concept of evidence 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 electronic currency is worth whatever the market decides through distribution and demand.Transactions are connected to a users Bitcoin address, which is stored on its own general ledger, known as the blockchain.