Bitcoin is a currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are made with no middle men – meaning, no banks! The price of bitcoin skyrocketed into the 9000$ .
Bitcoins can be used to buy merchandise anonymously.
In addition, international payments are easy and cheap because bitcoins are not tied to any country or subject to regulation. Small businesses may like them because there are no credit card fees.
Some people just buy bitcoins as an investment, hoping that they’ll go up in value.
Mining is a distributed consensus system that is used to confirm waiting transactions by including them in the block chain.
It enforces a chronological order in the block chain, protects the neutrality of the network, and allows different computers to agree on the state of the system.
To be confirmed, transactions must be packed in a block that fits very strict cryptographic rules that will be verified by the network.
These rules prevent previous blocks from being modified because doing so would invalidate all following blocks. Mining also creates the equivalent of a competitive lottery that prevents any individual from easily adding new blocks consecutively in the block chain.
This way, no individuals can control what is included in the block chain or replace parts of the block chain to roll back their own spends.
You can use bitcoin to buy things from more than 100,000 merchants, though still few major ones. You can sell it. Or you can just hang on to it.
Note that there are no inherent transaction fees with bitcoin, although exchanges like Coinbase typically charge a fee when you buy or sell
Yes . More than a thousand, with more sprouting up every day.
Aside from bitcoin, which is the real progenitor of them all, other well-known alternative currencies include Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin.
We take a look at the pros and cons of each, and how they stack up, in this explainer.
Buying and selling bitcoin: A quick and dirty introduction to trading cryptocurrency.