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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 people ledger of all transactionsBitcoins can be stored in a digital wallet and used to buy other currencies or real world goods
Where once a single bitcoin was worth a few cents it's 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 useless bitcoins as a hobby years ago, only to now realise they are rich.One IT worker even threw out a hard drive containing 7,500 bitcoins.
This is done without a central authority or bank.Who created 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 vanished from the scene in 2010 after seemingly handing over the reins into Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation.Over the years numerous people have claimed to be Satoshi, including Australian computer scientist Craig Wright.
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If the website gets hacked or someone gets your login details they could access and drain your funds find here from the exchange.There is no way to get 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 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 newspaper wallet) and stick it in a safe.If you don't save the personal key on your computer or online then hackers can never break in and get your funds.
Bitcoin means different things to different individuals. For many, it is a future of freely moving currency untied to any central bank. To the others, it's a purely digital entity of questionable value and doubtful origin. But what's Bitcoin, in the most basic senseIn most casual conversations, you can get away with knowing that bitcoin is, basically, an electronic currency.
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In reality, 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 stage (Bitcoin, uppercase) that hosts an electronic currency (bitcoin, lowercase). Bitcoin the platform is built on the concept of evidence of work information which 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 bit of digital currency is worth whatever the market decides through distribution and demand.Transactions are connected to some users Bitcoin speech, which can be stored on its general ledger, called the blockchain.