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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 digital wallet and used to Purchase other currencies or real 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're rich.One IT employee even threw out a hard disk containing 7,500 bitcoins.
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 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 into Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist in the Bitcoin Foundation.Over the 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 useful reference gets your login details they can access and drain your funds from the exchange.There is no way for a transaction to be reversed or recovered 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 store the private key on your pc or online then recipients can never break in and access your funds.
Bitcoin means different things to different individuals. For some, it's a future of freely moving currency untied to any central bank. To others, it's a purely digital entity of questionable value and doubtful origin. But what's Bitcoin, in the most basic senseIn most casual conversations, you can eliminate knowing that bitcoin is, basically, an electronic currency.
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In reality, 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 platform is built on the concept of proof of work data that 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 work of an extensive calculation in exchange for some newly minted currency. That piece of digital currency is worth whatever the market decides through distribution and demand.Transactions are connected to some users Bitcoin speech, which can be saved on its own general ledger, known as the blockchain.