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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 people ledger of all transactionsBitcoins can be stored in a digital wallet and used to buy other currencies or real world goods
Where once a single bitcoin was 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 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 created itBitcoin and 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 vanished from the scene in 2010 after seemingly handing over the reins to 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 information they could get and drain your funds from the exchange.There is no way for a transaction to be revoked or revoked if a burglar sends your bitcoins to 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 pocket's personal key on a piece of paper (this is known as a newspaper 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 funds.
Bitcoin means different things to different individuals. For some, it is a future of freely moving currency untied to any central bank. To the others, it's a purely electronic entity of questionable worth and dubious origin. However, what's Bitcoin, in the most elementary senseIn most casual conversations, you can get away with knowing that bitcoin is, basically, a digital currency.
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In fact, 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 stage (Bitcoin, uppercase) that hosts an electronic currency (bitcoin, lowercase). Bitcoin the stage is built on the concept of evidence of work data which is expensive and time-intensive to create but can be readily verified.
To mine a bitcoin, a computer must complete 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 decides through supply and demand.Transactions are connected to a users Bitcoin address, which is saved on its general ledger, known as the blockchain.