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Essential pointsBitcoin is a digital currency known as a cryptocurrencyThe peer-to-peer technology underpinning it's known as the blockchain a people ledger of transactionsBitcoins can be stored in a virtual wallet and used to buy other currencies or real world goods

Where once a single bitcoin was worth a few cents it's now worth about $9,200 per coin (November 2017), creating millionaires in the process.There have been many reported instances where individuals mined thousands of relatively useless bitcoins as a hobby years ago, only to now realise they're rich.One IT worker even threw out a hard disk containing 7,500 bitcoins.

All this is done without a central authority or bank.Who created itBitcoin and also the blockchain technology was created by someone under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto and released as a working beta in 2009. Satoshi's true identity remains a puzzle as he vanished from the scene in 2010 after seemingly handing over the reins to Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist in the Bitcoin Foundation.Over years numerous individuals have claimed to be Satoshi, including Australian computer scientist Craig Wright.

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Once the limit is reached, no more bitcoins can be made.However, a single bitcoin can be subdivided as far down as the decimal place (0.00000001BTC) to buy smaller goods using only a fraction of these coin.How do you store or send bitcoinYou can shop and send bitcoins from an encrypted digital wallet, which can be run as a program on your computer.The wallet works using two keys a private key and a public key which seem to be a seemingly random string of numbers and letters.The private key is kept secret by you and acts as a password that unlocks the wallet and allows you to send any bitcoins associated with it.

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If the website gets hacked or someone gets your login information they can access and drain your funds from the exchange.There is no way to get a transaction to be revoked or revoked if a thief sends your bitcoins for their wallet.After buying your coins you need to transfer them to a secure digital pocket made by you and not hosted online.You can even write down the wallet's private key on a sheet of paper (that is known as a newspaper wallet) and stick it in a safe.If you don't store the personal key on your computer or online then recipients can never break in and access your funds.

Bitcoin means different things to different people. For many, it's a future of moving currency untied to any central bank. To the others, it is a purely digital entity of questionable worth and dubious origin. However, what's Bitcoin, in the most elementary senseIn most casual conversations, you can eliminate knowing that bitcoin is, essentially, a digital currency.

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In reality, it is two considerably more complicated things.Bitcoin has been with us since 2009, when a person (or group) under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto introduced a stage (Bitcoin, uppercase) that hosts a digital currency (bitcoin, lowercase). Bitcoin the stage is built on the concept of proof of work information which is expensive and time-intensive read this to produce but can be readily verified.

To mine a bitcoin, a computer must finish a complicated algorithm, essentially going through the job of an extensive calculation in exchange for some newly minted currency. That bit of digital currency is worth whatever the market decides through distribution and demand.Transactions are connected to a users Bitcoin address, which is saved on its general ledger, known as the blockchain.

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This comparative anonymity makes the system appealing for things such as incognito purchases within the internet.A key component of Bitcoins blockchain is the fact it is an open, distributed ledger. Through the distributed nature of this ledger, the transactions on the blockchain are verified from the consensus of each member, offering protection and trust without a third-party overseer.One of the most important things to bear in mind when thinking about exactly what Bitcoin (or even bitcoin) is: there is no single answer.

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