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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 transactionsBitcoins can be stored in a virtual wallet and used to Purchase other currencies or actual world goods
Where once a single bitcoin was 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 ago, only to now realise they're rich.One IT employee 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 made by someone under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto and published 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 into Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation.Over the years numerous individuals 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 they can access 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 should transfer them into a secure digital pocket made 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 paper wallet) and stick it in a safe.If you don't save the private key on your computer or online then hackers can never break in and access 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 the others, it is a purely electronic entity of questionable worth and doubtful origin. But what is Bitcoin, in the most elementary 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 considerably 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 information that is expensive and time-intensive to produce 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 piece of digital helpful site currency is worth whatever the market determines through distribution and demand.Transactions are connected to a users Bitcoin address, which is stored on its general ledger, called the blockchain.