What is a Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is what is known as a & # 39; cryptocurrency & # 39;
It is the version of money on the Internet: unique pieces of digital property that can be transferred from one person to another.
Bitcoins are generated through the use of an open source computer program to solve complex mathematical problems. This process is known as mining.
Each Bitcoin has its own unique fingerprint and is defined by a public address and a private key, or strings of numbers and letters that give each one a specific identity.
They are also characterized by their position in a public database of all Bitcoin transactions known as blockchain.
The blockchain is maintained by a distributed network of computers around the world.
Because Bitcoins allow people to exchange money without involving a third party, they have become popular among libertarians and technophiles, speculators and criminals.
Where do Bitcoins come from?
People create Bitcoins through mining.
Mining is the process of solving complex mathematical problems using computers that run Bitcoin software.
These mining puzzles become increasingly difficult as more Bitcoins come into circulation.
The rewards are reduced by half at regular intervals due to a deliberate decrease in the speed at which the new Bitcoins enter circulation.
Who is behind the coin?
Bitcoin was launched in 2009 by a person or group of people that operates under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto and then adopted by a small group of enthusiasts.
Nakamoto left the map when Bitcoin began to attract wide attention, but its proponents say that it does not matter: the currency obeys its own internal logic.
Dr. Craig Wright was suspected as the creator after a Wired report last year and has now confirmed his identity as the founder of the cryptocurrency.
How much is a bitcoin worth?
Like any other currency, Bitcoins are only worth as much as you and their counterparts want them to be.
Bitcoins are digitally signed computer code lines each time they travel from one owner to another. Physical currency used as illustration
In its early days, boosters exchanged Bitcoins from one place to another for small favors or just as a game.
A website even gave them free.
As the market matured, the value of each Bitcoin grew.
Is the currency widely used?
That is debatable.
Companies ranging from the WordPress blog platform to retailer Overstock have jumped into Bitcoin's car in the midst of a wave of media coverage, but it's unclear if the currency has really taken off.
On the one hand, BitPay, the leading Bitcoin payment processor, works with more than 20,000 companies, approximately five times more than last year.
On the other hand, the total number of Bitcoin transactions has remained approximately constant between 60,000 and 70,000 per day during the same period, according to the Bitcoin wallet blockchain.info site.
Is Bitcoin particularly vulnerable to counterfeiting?
The Bitcoin network works by taking advantage of the greed of individuals for the collective good.
A network of knowledgeable users of the technology called miners keeps the system honest by turning its computing power into a chain of blocks, a global recount of all bitcoin transactions.
The blockchain prevents the rogues from spending the same bitcoin twice, and the miners are rewarded for their efforts by being gifted with occasional Bitcoin.
While the miners keep the chain of blocks secure, counterfeiting should not be a problem.