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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 public ledger of transactionsBitcoins can be stored in a virtual wallet and used to buy other currencies or actual 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 worthless bitcoins as a hobby years ago, only to now realise they're rich.One IT worker even threw out a hard disk containing 7,500 bitcoins.
All 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 released as a working beta in 2009. Satoshi's true identity remains a puzzle 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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In case the website gets hacked or someone gets your login information 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 for their wallet.After buying directory your coins you should transfer them into a secure digital pocket made 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 personal key on your computer or online then recipients can never break in and access your funds.
Bitcoin means different things to different individuals. 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 worth and dubious origin. However, what is Bitcoin, in the most elementary senseIn most casual conversations, you can get away with knowing that bitcoin is, basically, an electronic 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 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 readily verified.
To mine a bitcoin, a computer has to complete a complicated algorithm, essentially going through the work of an extensive calculation in exchange for some newly minted currency. That piece of digital currency is worth whatever the market determines through distribution and demand.Transactions are connected to a users Bitcoin address, which is saved on its general ledger, known as the blockchain.