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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 people 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 instances 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.
All this is done with no central authority or bank.Who generated itBitcoin and the blockchain technology was created 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 in the Bitcoin Foundation.Over years numerous people have promised to become 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 revoked or revoked if a burglar sends your bitcoins to their wallet.After buying your coins you need to transfer them to a secure digital pocket made by you and not hosted online.You can even write down the pocket's personal key Check This Out on a piece of paper (that is known as a paper 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 get your funds.
Bitcoin means different things to different people. For many, it's a future of freely moving currency untied to any central bank. To the others, it's a purely digital entity of questionable value and dubious 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 a digital currency (bitcoin, lowercase). Bitcoin the platform 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 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 electronic 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.