What is Bitcoin?
If you have never heard the word "bitcoin" before, then you are not reading the news at all. But, despite the fact that in the past few years only the lazy has not written about bitcoins, almost no one can clearly explain the main idea of this system, let alone the technical details. Lets try to figure out for ourselves what bitcoins are, what are they for and why are they so popular?
Bitcoin is the worlds first open source decentralized digital currency. It is fundamentally different from all previously created electronic currencies and payment systems, since it is not tied to any physical assets or "official" currencies, and its price is regulated exclusively by market supply and demand.
The word "Bitcoin" itself has several meanings, most often it means a confidential electronic currency. Despite the relatively recent surge in interest in bitcoin, the system emerged five years ago, in 2008.
Bitcoin is also a worldwide payment system through which transactions with this currency can be carried out. Its main difference from traditional payment systems is that the Bitcoin system does not have any control center and all operations take place exclusively in a network of equal and confidential clients.
Bitcoins can be used to exchange for goods or services from merchants who agree to accept them. The exchange for conventional currencies takes place through an online digital currency exchange service, other payment systems, exchange offices or directly between interested parties. An interesting fact is that the first item purchased with bitcoins in the store was pizza.
Similar to any currency, you can exchange regular money for bitcoins according to the established rate; for this there are many specialized online exchangers. However, Bitcoin differs from other virtual payment systems by the possibility of mining - each participant can play the role of a “gold digger” and try to “mine” bitcoins. To do this, you need a computer that will pick up 64-digit numbers, and this is most often done on the GPU due to its higher efficiency. The computer generates random numbers, trying to find a key for a block - a bunch of bitcoin exchange transactions. This process is carried out simultaneously with other network participants, the winner receives 25 bitcoins.
The bitcoin system is programmed to generate a set number of coins in a specific amount of time. At the moment, every 10 minutes, 25 new bitcoins appear on the network, that is, in 2140 the total number of coins will be more than 20 million. In other words, the bitcoin system does not lend itself to inflation and any external influence.
When the system was just launched, 1,300 bitcoins could be bought for just one dollar. However, over the past five years, and especially over the past couple of days, the bitcoin exchange rate has seriously changed and now one bitcoin costs more than $ 9,000.
Bitcoins are not tied to a specific country, so the system offers a relatively convenient opportunity to move money around the world with minimal cost. It is also possible to exchange it for real money using various exchangers and exchange services.
Recently, almost every month there is news that a coffee shop, bar or restaurant is opening in some part of the world with support for payments in cryptocurrencies. In some countries, even taxi drivers use bitcoin. Coinmap allows you to find stores and services that accept Bitcoin near you. It can be used to buy food, a car, an apartment, book a plane ticket or book hotels. Moreover, some universities accept bitcoin tuition payments. And in the US, supporters of the Republican Party have opened up the opportunity to donate money for its development in digital currency. Cryptocurrency has even made it to space. It is used by space tourism company Virgin Galactic.
In conclusion, it is important to note that bitcoin is a dynamically developing cryptocurrency, which is not only a popular investment tool, but is actively used when conducting financial transactions on the Internet. Therefore, it can be safely called the new world currency of the XXI century.
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