Intro

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How Did Bitcoin Start?

How Did Bitcoin Start?

Bitcoin’s emergence during an economic crisis

In the year 2008, an economic crisis was plaguing the world. Unemployment was exceptionally high and banks were being bailed out by governments. In this exact year, the whitepaper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was published by Bitcoin’s mysterious creator(s) Satoshi Nakamoto which outlined how Bitcoin would work. Sure enough, on the 3rd of January 2009 Bitcoin’s first block known as the Genesis Block was created. This marked the beginning of Bitcoin, while at the same time being the pilot of blockchain technology. In time, Bitcoin’s creation led to the start of the cryptocurrency market we know nowadays. To this day, Bitcoin’s still the market leader by far. Check out the Bitcoin price and chart with Ledger.

If you want to learn more about the history of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, this article is a must-read.

What Bitcoin aims to do

Satoshi Nakamoto’s work aims to take out trusted third parties from transactions through a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash as indicated in the whitepaper he wrote. This means that there’d be no banks or other institutions that you’d have to entrust your money to and you can freely transact with anyone around the globe. As the common motto goes, with Bitcoin, you can be your own bank. 

Bitcoin is also designed to not be aimlessly printed like traditional money can be. There’s a hard maximum amount of Bitcoins that can ever be created to prevent this. It is completely open-source, with every single transaction being publicly visible while maintaining anonymity for its users. Speaking of which, let’s take a closer look at how their transaction system works.

Proof-of-work

Bitcoin (BTC) makes use of a system for verifying transactions known as Proof of Work (PoW). In this, there are miners that try to solve complex cryptographic puzzles to create a Block for the blockchain. Each Block contains the information of several Bitcoin transactions. The miner who succeeds is awarded a small amount of BTC for the work they’ve done. In turn, all miners combined give their computing power to the Bitcoin network which gives it stability, security and decentralization. 

Even if one miner is acting maliciously or is compromised, all other participants in the network will still verify the correctness of the transactions. As such, there’s not a single point of failure in the network and there’s strength in numbers – Vires in numeris in Latin. You can find even more details on Proof-of-Work in this article.

Why Bitcoin: key fundamentals

There are many key features of Bitcoin that make it stand out against traditional money or other assets. Bitcoin’s unique combination of many factors makes it stand out.

Decentralized

Bitcoin is the first financial system to successfully use a fully peer-to-peer network. It does this through blockchain technology as invented by Satoshi Nakamoto. The decentralized nature of Bitcoin helps in so many ways.

Firstly, it increases the security of the network. In a centralized environment, if a computer is hacked it’s simply game over. In a decentralized network like a blockchain you’d need to attack so many different computers where in Bitcoin’s case it becomes a herculean task.

Furthermore within a decentralized network there is not a central authority who can dictate whatever takes place on the network. 

Lastly, there are many actors worldwide involved in the Bitcoin network. As such, the network functions fully for 24/7. Equally anyone can join the network anywhere.

Transparency

As mentioned in the beginning, Bitcoin is completely open-source. This means that everyone can take a closer look at its coding and verify how it works. All transactions are also publicly available on the blockchain, meaning you can verify all data relating to your Bitcoin accounts and balances. 

Censorship-resistant & Full Ownership

With Bitcoin, there is no central authority that could tell you what you can and cannot do with your own money. Unlike with money you’ve left in the care of a financial institution, by purchasing Bitcoin you can be completely in control of your own funds while retaining complete ownership of your money. While there are options to leave it in someone else’s custody (e.g. cryptocurrency exchanges), there are equally secure options to have full ownership over your own funds.

Disinflationary

Unlike traditional money which can be printed infinitely, Bitcoin is hard-coded to have an absolute maximum of 21 million Bitcoins to exist in 2140. New Bitcoins are still being made at the moment, but the amount created is cut in half roughly every four years in an event known as the Bitcoin halving.

Anonymous

While Bitcoin’s transactions are fully public, one still remains anonymous at the same time. The addresses used in Bitcoin are strings of data which on its own cannot point to a single individual. What’s more: nowadays you can use a feature known as Hierarchical Deterministic Keys or HD in short. This ensures that each time you’ve used a certain Bitcoin address, you can generate a new address under your control to send new funds to. As such, no one could know your total balance. 

Lightning-fast global transactions

Bitcoin transactions can be sent from anywhere in the world to any country. It doesn’t take country borders into consideration – a national or international transaction takes the same amount of time and fees. On average, a BTC transaction takes about 10 minutes to be completed. Especially for international transactions, it puts traditional wire transfers to shame which can take anywhere between 1 to 4 working days.

Taking back control with Bitcoin

Sure enough, with Bitcoin, you can regain control over your own money. It can be fully in your hands and not at the mercy of any financial institution – and this form of financial freedom is accessible to everyone.

Most importantly, it can be done securely as well.

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SegWit and Native SegWit (Bech32) -What’s the Difference?
SegWit and Native SegWit (Bech32) -What’s the Difference?

SegWit and Native SegWit (Bech32) -What’s the Difference?

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