Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. It was first created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto.
In this era of Internet and digitization, we’ve moved from phone to VoIP calls, face-to-face meeting to video conferencing, fax to email, cable television to IP TV, and the list goes on. Bitcoins are gaining popularity as a new way to purchase goods or services.
Bitcoins aren’t printed, like dollars or euros – they’re produced by people and businesses, using computer software that solves mathematical problems.
However, Bitcoin’s most important characteristic, and the thing that makes it different to conventional money, is that it is decentralized. No single institution controls the bitcoin network.
They are not tied to any country or subject to any regulation. Instead, Bitcoins are created digitally, by a community of people that anyone can join.
Bitcoins are ‘mined’, using computing power in a distributed network. Conventional currency has been based on gold or silver, but Bitcoins are based on mathematics.
Bitcoin has several important features that set it apart from government-backed currencies.
- It's decentralized - The Bitcoin network isn’t controlled by one central authority.
- It's easy to set up – Unlike banks who ask you thousands of questions and proofs to open an account, you can set up a Bitcoin address in seconds, no questions asked, and with no fees payable.
- It's anonymous - Users can hold multiple Bitcoin addresses, and they aren’t linked to names, addresses, or other personally identifying information.
- It's completely transparent - Bitcoin stores details of every single transaction that has ever happened in the network in a huge form of a general ledger, called the Blockchain.
Blockchain is a shared public ledger on which the entire Bitcoin network relies. All confirmed transactions are included in the Blockchain. Nobody can copy & reuse the same Bitcoin for more than one time as every transaction is validated in Blockchain which confirms that Bitcoin was never used before.
You can buy and sell Bitcoins at Mt.Gox, Coinbase, BitQuick, Bitbargain and many more.
Mining Bitcoin involves running software on your computer that processes complex mathematical equations. If your computer solves one of these equations, you get a reward in Bitcoins.
Today Bitcoins are getting slowly adopted but Blockchain is going disrupt the financial industry due to its instant near real time updates and transparency.