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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 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 comparatively worthless bitcoins as a hobby years back, 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 created 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 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 become Satoshi, including Australian computer scientist Craig Wright.
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If the web site gets hacked or someone gets your login details that they could 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 to a secure digital wallet created by you and not hosted online.You can even write down the pocket's personal go key on a sheet 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 pc or online then recipients can never break in and get your funds.
Bitcoin means different things to different individuals. For some, it is a future of freely moving currency untied to any central bank. To the others, it is a purely electronic entity of questionable value and dubious origin. However, what's Bitcoin, in the most basic senseIn most casual conversations, you can get away with knowing that bitcoin is, essentially, an electronic currency.
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In reality, it is two considerably more complex 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 evidence of work information that is expensive and time-intensive to produce but can be readily verified.
To mine a bitcoin, a computer must finish a complicated algorithm, essentially going through the job of an extensive calculation in exchange for a few newly minted currency. That bit of digital currency is worth whatever the market decides through distribution and demand.Transactions are connected to a users Bitcoin speech, which is stored on its own general ledger, called the blockchain.