- Bitcoin is a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely digital money.
- It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen.
Origin of Bitcoin
- Bitcoin is the first implementation of a concept called “cryptocurrency”, which was first described in 1998 by Wei Dai on the cypherpunks mailing list, suggesting the idea of a new form of money that uses cryptography to control its creation and transactions, rather than a central authority.
- The first Bitcoin specification and proof of concept was published in 2009 in a cryptography mailing list by Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi left the project in late 2010 without revealing much about himself. The community has since grown exponentially with many developers working on Bitcoin.
Who controls bitcoin?
- Nobody owns the Bitcoin network much like no one owns the technology behind email.
- Bitcoin is controlled by all Bitcoin users around the world. While developers are improving the software, they can’t force a change in the Bitcoin protocol because all users are free to choose what software and version they use.
- In order to stay compatible with each other, all users need to use software complying with the same rules.
- Bitcoin can only work correctly with a complete consensus among all users. Therefore, all users and developers have a strong incentive to protect this consensus.
Payments by Bitcoin
- Bitcoin payments are easier to make than debit or credit card purchases, and can be received without a merchant account.
- Payments are made from a wallet application, either on your computer or smartphone, by entering the recipient’s address, the payment amount, and pressing send.
- To make it easier to enter a recipient’s address, many wallets can obtain the address by scanning a QR code or touching two phones together with NFC technology.
- Bitcoin is as virtual as the credit cards and online banking networks people use everyday. Bitcoin can be used to pay online and in physical stores just like any other form of money.