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Key pointsBitcoin is a digital currency known as a cryptocurrencyThe peer-to-peer technology underpinning it's known as the blockchain a public ledger of all 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 is 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 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.
This is done with no central authority or bank.Who generated itBitcoin and 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 disappeared from the scene in 2010 after seemingly handing over the reins into 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 details that they can access 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 your coins you should transfer them into a secure digital wallet created 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 Look At This wallet) and stick it in a safe.If you don't store the personal key on your pc or online then hackers can never break in and get your funds.
Bitcoin means different things to different individuals. For many, it's 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. 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 platform is built on the concept of proof of work information that 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 work of an extensive calculation in exchange for a few newly minted currency. That bit of digital currency is worth whatever the market determines through distribution and demand.Transactions are connected to a users Bitcoin address, which can be saved on its general ledger, known as the blockchain.