14 Nov Bitcoin and its basics
For starters, here’s an overly simplified explanation of Bitcoin Cash – BCH: It’s a digital currency (there are more than 800 now) that isn’t controlled by a central authority such as a government or bank. It’s created by “miners,” who use computers and specialized hardware to process transactions, secure the currency’s network and collect bitcoins in exchang. Supporters say it allows for more secure transactions over the internet. That’s in part due to blockchain, a technology that records cryptocurrency transactions chronologically in a public digital ledger.
Bitcoin is only eight and a half years old, but it’s the oldest and most highly valued white label crypto exchange software out there. In such a short time, it’s had a rocky and controversial history, but it’s also attracted a fair share of high-profile supporters. Click through to read 11 bits about Bitcoin that will make you at least sound like you know what you’re talking about next time it inevitably comes up.
You’ve likely heard of bitcoin and blockchain news recently, the digital currency that’s been thrust into the spotlight. The baseline idea, despite layers of complicated, tech-y specifics, is simple: What if there was a standardized currency that could be “mined,” like gold, and used anonymously across the World Wide Web and in select real-world locations? Users keep bitcoins in digital wallets—perhaps not so different in concept than the PayPal account you keep dollars in—and spend them like any other money.
That bitcoins and the altcoins have suddenly received so much attention is important for several reasons. Many are reading more about it at Midas Letter Crypto News and learning about bitcoins and cryptocurrency because for one, it signals a strong desire felt by many to break free of traditional banking systems and “own” their money in a way that isn’t possible with, say, a credit card tracked by CHASE. If businesses take interest in this young currency, there could be an impact on the financial markets. Bitcoins also represent an interesting evolution of our lives in cyperspace: Who’d have thought, when they first hooked up a beige Mac to a dial-up modem, that their computer’s successor would one day generate intangible data with actual monetary value?
Of course, bitcoin isn’t quite the hot new thing mainstream media would have you believe. It broke onto the scene in 2009 after a Japanese programmer who uses the name Satoshi Nakamoto published a proof of concept, and it really gained steam a year later, when developers flocked to the project. By the end of 2011, bitcoin was established enough in certain circles to spark an expose on Gawker about people using the currency to buy illicit substances, and a Wired feature titled “The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin.” Then the hubbub died down—until early 2013, when Coinbase, a bitcoin “wallet service,” reportedly sold $1 million in bitcoins in a single month. That’s big money, and the real-world market took interest.