What the heck is bitcoin anyway?

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To anybody who hasn’t heard of bitcoin, it can be a complicated thing to understand. Back in 2011, the creator of bitcoin (Hashimoto Satoshi) said that “Bitcoin is the natural evolution of currency.” he couldn’t be more correct!

 Since its creation, bitcoin has climbed to the forefront of several major news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, and the Huffington Post. It’s no wonder that this technology has received a lot of media attention- the price of a single bitcoin has skyrocketed to past 2000 dollars USD within the past three months.

But what the heck is bitcoin, anyway? Bitcoin is a crypocurrency, similar to any currency currently available on the open market- with one key difference: it’s entirely online. Bitcoin uses an algorithm to validate and compile all transactions within the network on a peer to peer basis. this means that it is entirely decentralized from banks and corporations.

bitcoin

So how does it work exactly?

It is a network of currency that retains the anonymity of its users by providing them with an encrypted pass code known as a Hash Key, which is used to send and receive funds. This has several advantages, mainly to provide it’s users with a safe, private way of paying for products and services without having to worry about governments or private interests becoming involved in their financial records. Many people think that it may not be necessary to have internet privacy, however with the recent implementation of SOPA and the united state’s Patriot act, invasion of everyday people’s personal security is more prevalent than ever before.

Bitcoin uses a technology known as Block chain, which is a public ledger that tracks and records bitcoin transactions. It is peer to pear meaning that it provides a solution to centralized authority over financial institutions without compromising the security of it’s end users. The block chain functions as a method of tracking transactions without the need for validation from a third party such as a bank. It is a ledger that keeps track of the information by validating it through thousands of relay points around the globe. These relay points are controlled by individual computers, and the owners of these computers receive portions of bitcoin for processing the information. There are plenty of publicly available software that can be implemented for the purpose of hashing the information, which is known as “mining”.

Approximately 6 times per hour, a new groups of accepted transactions (known as a block) is distributed to the relay points, which then validate each individual code to assure that there is no fraud in the system. This results in an independently validated system that does not require a third party authentication, and requires no over sight from any private institution.

Because of this, Bitcoin is able to maintain network security without the need for banks or other financial institutions to validate transactions, making it anonymous for end users wishing to maintain their internet security.

The block chain is a series of blocks that keeps track of the entire transaction history of the bitcoin network- it is unchangable and consistant between every relay point on the planet. Because of this, it is not alterable in any way. Once a transaction is completed, it is added to the next available block to be validated by the record keeping service of miners. Transaction data is available to anybody on blockchain.info, provided they have access to the Hash Key for the transaction in question.

So Why Would I Want to Use Bitcoin?

With the ever-changing market on the internet, and hackers threatening to destroy the security of the web- it becomes apparent that anonymity is just as important for end-users as for private institutions with sensitive information. Bitcoin serves as a way to both secure their transactions from prying corporations and government agencies, as well as maintaining a sense of personal security in regard to their finances.

Bitcoin offers the solution

Since it’s creation, the market cap of bitcoin has exceeded 40 billion US dollars, meaning it’s long term financial stability is essentially set in stone. So whether you’re a regular consumer, investor, or just somebody who wants to remain safe online- bitcoin is the right way to go if you are looking to operate on the internet in a way that cannot be compromised by private interest.

 

Great, So How do I Get Started?

To get started, simply go to your favorite search engine and find a wallet program that works with bitcoin. Jaxx is recommended, as it supports many different currencies and is very secure. Coinbase.com is another site that works well for novices and beginners alike, as it involves minimal knowledge in technology or software development. Either of these are a safe bet, however there are virtually hundreds of programs out there that are free and safe to use.

Bitcoin is on the rise, there is no question about it. Time is running out to invest in this emerging market, and several news agencies already indicate that bitcoin could go up in value to over 10,000 USD by the end of 2017.  There is a limited supply of bitcoins within the network, every 10 minutes, a certain number of bitcoin is distributed to the network- and once it’s gone,

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