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Key pointsBitcoin is a digital currency known as a cryptocurrencyThe peer-to-peer technology underpinning it is known as the blockchain a people ledger of transactionsBitcoins can be stored in a digital wallet and used to Purchase other currencies or actual 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 people mined thousands of relatively 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 created itBitcoin and also the blockchain technology was created 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 into Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist in the Bitcoin Foundation.Over years numerous people have promised 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 to get a transaction to be reversed or recovered if a burglar sends your bitcoins for 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 pocket's personal key on a piece of paper (that is known as a newspaper wallet) and stick it in a safe.If you don't store the private key on your computer or read here online then recipients can never break in and get your funds.
Bitcoin means different things to different individuals. For many, it is a future of freely moving currency untied to any central bank. To others, it is a purely digital entity of questionable worth and doubtful origin. But what is 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 considerably more complex 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 proof of work information which is expensive and time-intensive to create but can be easily 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 determines through distribution and demand.Transactions are connected to a users Bitcoin address, which is saved on its own general ledger, known as the blockchain.