Bitcoin is a decentralised online cryptocurrency that operates peer-to-peer which means that all transactions happen between network participants independently and without the need for an intermediary.
It is also called “digital gold” because of its high value and because it cannot be manipulated by governments or banks. Unlike any other currency that is issued by governments, Bitcoin offers a cheaper and more efficient way to do business. It has been around since 2009 and supporters are still figuring out what the best ways are for using this new type of digital money.
Transactions with bitcoin don’t need personal information so you won't get your identity stolen if someone gets their hands on one of your bitcoins, making transactions much safer than giving cash in person. All transactions, from buying coffee at Starbucks to trading stocks, are publicly available via open-source software.
Bitcoin was the first ever cryptocurrency to come into use!
Bitcoin was created to allow "online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution" according to BTC founder, Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin works by creating blocks of data which are verified by other users on the network, who each hold copies of these blocks. To start with, miners compete to find something called a hash, which is created using the contents of their block plus some extra pieces of information like a random number and this process is known as hashing. They use what they have found to create an encrypted version (known as a hash) of their block - if this matches up with others then it's verified and confirmed as legitimate! This process makes sure that no-one can cheat the system.
Bitcoin was launched in 2009 by a person or group of people using the alias, Satoshi Nakamoto as described in a 2008 whitepaper. The identity of the founder is unknown as the name is under a pseudonym.
The system was named the 'blockchain' after Nakamoto proposed to use a decentralised ledger of transactions packaged in blocks which would then be secured by cryptographic algorithms.
The first block on the Bitcoin blockchain was mined in January 2009, known as the genesis block, which was the first cryptocurrency in the world.
The first narrative that Nakamoto built into the Bitcoin whitepaper was one that claimed Bitcoin's benefits were superior to existing forms like credit cards, by eliminating chargebacks and reducing transaction fees
Laszlo Hanyecz, a Florida-based programmer, was the first person to purchase something with Bitcoins. He bought two pizzas from Pappa John's Pizza for $25 worth of Bitcoin and became an innovator among those who saw potential in this digital currency.
One of the most popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is now accepted at more and more places. The acceptance rate for this digital currency has been growing gradually over time in tandem with its value remaining below previous peaks. Gradually as more people began to use it-more money was flowing into the Bitcoin ecosystem which increased market cap by $11 billion from 2011's total to an astounding height of 300 billion dollars today!
Bitcoin is an important cryptocurrency as it gave way to a global community and changed the game in the world of finance. Bitcoin has led to the development of other cryptocurrencies and the entire crypto market is based on the Bitcoin network.
One of the advantages of bitcoin is its peer-to-peer transactions with low fees, which means no central authority can freeze or seize your funds. It’s also anonymous and secure because bitcoin isn’t tied to any particular country or subject to regulation. On the other hand, there are some disadvantages. The price of bitcoin fluctuates wildly so you might not know how much you have in terms of dollars (or euros or pounds) at any given time.
Bitcoin also acts as the base currency on most of the exchanges and thus helps in transferring funds from one crypto to another.
As of 2021, more than $90 Billion worth of Bitcoin has been mined so far.
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