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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 transactionsBitcoins can be stored in a digital wallet and used to buy other currencies or actual world goods
Where once a single bitcoin has been 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 worthless bitcoins as a hobby years ago, only to now realise they're rich.One IT employee even threw out a hard drive containing 7,500 bitcoins.
This is done with no central authority or bank.Who generated itBitcoin and also 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 to Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist in the Bitcoin Foundation.Over the years numerous people have claimed to be Satoshi, including Australian computer scientist Craig Wright.
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In case the web site gets hacked or someone gets your login details they could 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 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 wallet's private 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 get your funds.
Bitcoin means different things to different people. For many, it is a future of freely moving currency untied to any central bank. To the others, it's a purely electronic entity of questionable worth and dubious origin. However, what is 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 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 platform (Bitcoin, uppercase) that hosts a digital currency (bitcoin, lowercase). Bitcoin the platform is built on the concept of proof of work data that is expensive and time-intensive to produce but can be readily verified.
To mine a bitcoin, a computer must complete a complicated algorithm, essentially going through the job of an extensive calculation in exchange for some newly minted currency. That piece of digital currency is worth whatever the market decides through supply and demand.Transactions are connected check this to some users Bitcoin speech, which is stored on its own general ledger, called the blockchain.