This article or post will educate you on what is Bitcoin, how bitcoin works and also how to get bitcoins.
In this 2017, what is bitcoin have been trending especially if you indulge in online business with many of us not knowing what bitcoin is all about. And this is what made me to come up with this post on what is bitcoin and how bitcoin works. You might be hearing paypal or payoneer, right now bitcoin is now on the trend and you should at least know some facts about bitcoin.
Bitcoin – the initial virtual banking currency of the internet – has existed for several years now and many people have questions about them. Where do they come from? Are they legal? Where can you get them? Why did they split into Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash? Here are the basics you need to know.
What is Bitcoin
What is Bitcoin; Before knowing what bitcoin is, you should first know what is cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrencies are just lines of computer code that hold monetary value. Those lines of code are created by electricity and high-performance computers.
Cryptocurrency is also known as digital currency. Either way, it is a form of digital public money that is created by painstaking mathematical computations and policed by millions of computer users called ‘miners’. Physically, there is nothing to hold.
‘Crypto’ comes from the word cryptography, the security process used to protect transactions that send the lines of code out for purchases. Cryptography also controls the creation of new ‘coins’, the term used to describe specific amounts of code.
Governments have no control over the creation of cryptocurrencies, which is what initially made them so popular. Most cryptocurrencies begin with a market cap in mind, which means that their production will decrease over time thus, ideally, making any particular coin more valuable in the future.
What is Bitcoin: Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. No one controls it. Bitcoins aren’t printed, like dollars or euros – they’re produced by people, and increasingly businesses, running computers all around the world, using software that solves mathematical problems.
Bitcoin can be used to buy things electronically. In that sense, it’s like conventional dollars, euros, or yen, which are also traded digitally.
However, bitcoin’s most important characteristic, and the thing that makes it different to conventional money, is that it is decentralized. No single institution controls the bitcoin network. This puts some people at ease, because it means that a large bank can’t control their money. Because Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to exist, all digital currencies created since then are called Altcoins, or alternative coins. Litecoin, Peercoin, Feathercoin, Ethereum and hundreds of other coins are all Altcoins because they are not Bitcoin.
Benefits of Using Bitcoin
Let’s look at the key benefits of bitcoin and also how bitcoin works.
1. Low inflation risk. One of the biggest problems with our current dollars and other currencies used around the world is inflation. Over time all currencies lose purchasing power at a rate of few percents per year mainly because governments keep printing more money. This process is basically a small tax on your accumulated wealth. With Bitcoin you don’t have this problem because the system is designed to make Bitcoins to be finite. Only about 21 milion Bitcoins will ever be released (mined). The release of new Bitcoins is slowing down and it will stop completely within a few decades. We have a slowing population growth which is projected to stop at around 10 billion by approximately 2050 which roughly coincides with the last Bitcoin to be mined. There will be roughly 1 Bitcoins for every 500 people.
2. Low collapse risk. Regular currencies depend on governments which fail ocassionally. Such events either cause hyperinflation or a complete collapse of a currency, which can wipe out savings of a lifetime in day. Bitcoin is not regulated by any one government. It’s a virtual global currency.
3. Safe, simple and cheap. The problem with traditional online transactions from the perspective of the seller is that Credit cards, PayPal you and other online payment systems allow buyers to claim their money back. You can can use escrow services but that makes things complicated and slow. With Bitcoins once you have the money you have it and that’s that. Buyers can not in any way take the money back and the seller can safely ship the product or perform the service that the client purchased. From the buyer’s perspective the infrustructure for payments and sending money between accounts is potentially going to be simpler and cheaper because it is peer-to-peer rather than done through some intermediary.
3. Easy to carry. Not a real problem that needs a solution, but you can carry a billion dollars worths of Bitcoins on a memory stick in your pocket. You can’t do that with cash or even gold.
4. Untraceable. This is both a benefit and a risk for Bitcoin. The benefit is that you don’t have to be afraid of any organization of being able to trace the source of your funds. This is a clear benefit in many areas of the world because governements that are supposed to guard against fraud are actually defrauding people by taking their savings partially or fully. Regarding risks I will discuss them in the next section.
How Bitcoin works
How bitcoin works is one of the major questions we usually ask, and below is how bitcoin works.
Bitcoins are completely virtual coins designed to be ‘self-contained’ for their value, with no need for banks to move and store the money. Once you own bitcoins, they behave like physical gold coins: they possess value and trade just as if they were nuggets of gold in your pocket. You can use your bitcoins to purchase goods and services online, or you can tuck them away and hope that their value increases over the years.
Let’s say you want to test the Bitcoin waters. The first thing you need to do as a new user is install a digital wallet on your computer or mobile device. This wallet is simply a free, open-source software program that will generate your first and subsequent Bitcoin addresses. There are three types of wallets – a software wallet (installed on your computer), a mobile wallet (which resides on your mobile device) or a Web wallet (located on the website of a service provider that hosts bitcoins).
Bitcoin uses public key encryption4 techniques for security. This means that when a new Bitcoin address is created, a cryptographic key pair consisting of a public key and private key – which are essentially unique, long strings of letters and numbers – is generated.
Each address has its own Bitcoins balance, so all you need to do is acquire a number of Bitcoins that will be held at one of the addresses in your wallet. You can acquire Bitcoins through a number of ways – by buying them from a Bitcoin currency exchange such as Mt. Gox or Bitstamp, or through a service like BitInstant that enables fund transfers between Bitcoin exchanges and supports various payment mechanisms.
Note that all Bitcoin transactions are stored publicly and permanently on the Bitcoin network, which means that the balance and transactions of any Bitcoin address are visible to anyone. Experts therefore recommend that Bitcoin owners create a new address for each transaction as a means of ensuring privacy and enhancing security.
Once you have created a Bitcoin address and have acquired Bitcoins, you can use them for an online transaction with a company that accepts Bitcoins as a payment mode. The company will send you the Bitcoin address to which you can send your Bitcoin payment. You direct the payment to that address; while the transaction takes place within seconds, verification can take 10 minutes or longer.
All Bitcoin transactions, without exception, are included in a shared public transaction log known as a “block chain”. This is to confirm that the party spending the Bitcoins really owns them, and also to prevent fraud and double-spending.
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Why does transaction verification or confirmation take so long? Because the complex algorithms involved in Bitcoin mining (see description below) take time to solve, even with immense computing power at one’s disposal.
So that’s it guys on what is Bitcoin and how bitcoin works and also don’t forget to share this post thanks.