What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency, also known as a cryptocurrency. It was invented in 2008 by an anonymous person or group named Satoshi Nakamoto.

Unlike fiat (traditional) currencies, bitcoins are not physical objects. This hasn’t stopped people from imagining what a bitcoin might look like in reality, and the crypto space is filled with artistic renderings of gold coins emblazoned with a B!

How does it work?

Bitcoin has no central point of control, as with most currencies, and is sustained by individuals in the widespread cryptocurrency community. Bitcoin is operated for the people by the people.

Instead of banks, Bitcoin users visit exchanges like Bitcoin UK to buy or sell their coins. Bitcoin is stored in virtual wallets and often something referred to as cold storage for safety.

New bitcoins are being created roughly every 10 minutes through a process called mining. Computers work hard to find a solution, and each correct answer produces a block, which comes with some Bitcoin as a reward. However, there is a limited number of bitcoins to be mined. Once 21 million coins have been produced, we won’t be able to make anymore.

What is the Blockchain?

Without the Blockchain concept, it would be impossible to use bitcoin.

By recording all transactions made within the cryptocurrency network, blockchain technology removes the need for a middle-person like a bank or centralised service. A key piece of Blockchain is that it prevents any transactions being removed, modified or tampered with. Transactions are added into a block during the mining process, which is then added onto the previous block, creating a blockchain.

Bitcoin vs bitcoin

As you become more familiar with the world of Bitcoin, you might come across Bitcoin with a capital ‘B’ compared to bitcoin with a lowercase ‘b’. This isn’t a typo! Traditionally Bitcoin refers to the network as a whole and bitcoin to the currency.

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