For years, hackers of all kinds have been trying to create a digital currency that can be used anywhere in the world without the need for a government or central bank.
In 2008, a pseudonymous programmer named Satoshi Nakamoto apparently solved the problem of a system that seemed to hedge financial transactions without central bank authority. When you send Bitcoin to someone, the transaction is added to a database of which everyone on the Bitcoin network has a copy.
Although there is no government mint, there are cryptocurrencies in the form of gold, silver, platinum and other precious metals. Rather than a government printing a new currency, the Bitcoin blockchain controls how many Bitcoins are produced.
This limits the number of Bitcoins ever created to 21 million. Because of this hard cap, which sets a number for every bitcoin that is ever mined, many people have debated how to scale bitcoin for massive use.
But what makes it unique as a cryptocurrency over conventional currencies is that it is infinitely divisible. Bitcoin is anchored in the physical world, not only in a digital currency, but also in people’s minds.
Bitcoin is now the most significant application of blockchain technology. At a time when peer-to-peer networking and cloud computing are being redefined, the basic idea of Bitcoin is moving to the forefront of the world’s most important technology.
The history as a store of value has been volatile, but the cryptocurrency soared to around $20,000 per coin in 2017.
Each piece of digital currency is worth what the market decides on supply and demand, and the more demand, the higher the value.
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