Introduction To Bitcoin Ⅰ

Bitcoin, founded in 2009 by an anonymous developer under the alias “Satoshi Nakamoto,” is the first distributed currency and payment platform to achieve widespread adoption. No central authority or bank controls the value of bitcoin because it is managed and owned by its users on a peer-to-peer basis.

What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a novel form of digital currency that can be kept, traded, and spent in the same ways traditional currencies can. Bitcoin’s opt-in methodology and decentralized structure are essential to its differentiation from currencies such as the Dollar, Euro, and Yen. Central banks issue currency in a system known as “fiat money” (meaning “money via decree”), where everyone is compelled to utilize the currency of their nation. Unless paying in cash is a dying method, most financial dealings today occur through banks or electronic payment processors.

On the other hand, Bitcoin is a currency whose value is determined by the ‘agreement’ of its users rather than by any central authority. It comprises a community of users who have agreed to follow the Bitcoin system rules freely and are eager to see it develop. They conduct peer-to-peer interactions and value storage without needing a central authority, a financial institution, or a firm. As a result, Bitcoin users can transact without seeking approval from any central authority and without worrying about being disconnected from the network. Also, because the system is not centralized and is used worldwide, it is powerful and can’t be hacked by fraudsters.

Brief History Of Bitcoin

The Bitcoin protocol was first described in a white paper released in 2008 and was written by an unknown person using the codename Satoshi Nakamoto. No one knows the author’s genuine identity, and whether a single individual or a group did the writing which  is strange.

On January 3, 2009, Bitcoin network creator Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first block. This first block includes a lasting reminder of the economic conditions (bank bailout and a controlled financial sector) that inspired Bitcoin’s creation.

The name “Genesis Block” was given to the first block mined, which produced 50 bitcoins. Before this point, Bitcoin had almost no value for the initial months of its existence. However, in April 2010, six months after its introduction to the market, one bitcoin was worth slightly more than 15 cents. The price soared to 56 cents in early November and then settled at about 26 cents.

The bitcoin price increased substantially from January 2016 to January 2017, from $435 to $996. In addition, Bitcoin’s software was updated in July 2017 to support the distributed system better and increase security. Approximately $2,700 was exchanged for Bitcoin shortly after the upgrade went live in August. Bitcoin’s price hit a record high of under $20,000 on December 17, 2017.

How Is Bitcoin Created?

Bitcoin miners receive newly created Bitcoins automatically from the Bitcoin network whenever a new block is added to the bitcoin blockchain. The program will automatically stop issuing new coins when the total number of circulating bitcoins hits 21 million. Bitcoin mining serves as both the mechanism by which transactions are verified and how new bitcoins are created.

It is important to note that expanding the computer power used for bitcoin mining will still not result in more bitcoins being mined. Therefore, the quantity of bitcoin mined is generally consistent over time because miners with more computer power do not significantly increase their odds of getting paid with the following block.

For the Bitcoin network to maintain a steadily decreasing supply of bitcoin for miners, the protocol dubbed “bitcoin halving” is employed at regular intervals. The notion is that if the rate at which new bitcoins are created is slowed down, the asset’s price will be supported.

How Does Bitcoin Work?

In Bitcoin’s decentralized peer-to-peer system, users (usually individuals or entities seeking to trade bitcoin with other people on the network) do not need the assistance of intermediaries to carry out and validate transactions. Instead, users can connect their computers to the network and retrieve a copy of the public ledger to view a complete record of every Bitcoin transaction.

Blockchain, often called “distributed ledger tech,” is used to create this public ledger. Blockchain technology is the backbone of the bitcoin industry, as it permanently records and chronologically arranges all transactions. For a trustless payment scheme, immutability and openness are crucial characteristics.

Each user’s replica of the register is automatically updated as new operations are verified and uploaded to the ledger by the network. Imagine a Google document that anyone with access can edit, and the changes will be reflected in the record instantly.

Benefits of Bitcoin

The main advantage revolves around Bitcoin’s decentralization, meaning that nobody not even governments can regulate your Bitcoin transactions. Many people, especially those who worry about the influence of large financial institutions, will find this quite tempting. Because banks managed people’s money and investments, financial crises like the Great Recession of 2008 were likely. 

Banks and bankers are unnecessary for the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. To counter the growing influence of speculative investments and algorithms in the stock market and the economy, digital currencies provide a means for individuals to reclaim some measure of financial agency. If you know what you’re doing, you can make much money with these new currencies.

Proof-Of-Work

Bitcoin transactions are verified, and the network is protected by computers using a methodology named proof-of-work (PoW). The “consensus mechanism” of the Bitcoin protocol is proof-of-work. Proof-of-Work is the original and still the most popular consensus mechanism for blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. However, others, including proof-of-stake (PoS), use less computational power on average.

By devoting vast amounts of computational power to the 10-minute-long process of identifying new blocks. Those who have shown their dedication to the network through proof-of-work are promoted to the status of “validators” or “miners.”

In conclusion, we are witnessing new coins, such as those created by football teams and players. Bitcoin can one day replace cash when transferring funds between players. To revitalize the high street’s waning appeal, digital businesses are exploring novel approaches, and cryptocurrency may play a role in this. Coins issued by individual municipalities present an intriguing avenue for integration with other intelligent urban digital advancements.

Find Bitcoin Part 2, Bitcoin Part 3 and Bitcoin Part 4 here.

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