One cannot deny that Bitcoin is a controversial subject no matter the field of study. It remains as an enigma within the digital society, economic society, and it is a big floating question mark for citizens who do not possess the technical knowledge to at least decipher its underlying concepts. Here are ten information about Bitcoin which can aid in understanding its nature, and a few pleasurable proofs that can may heighten one’s curiosity towards its significance:
1. Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym.
The creator of Bitcoin is unidentified. In 2008, a so-called Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” and proceeded to launch the network in January 2009. Although some claim that Nakamoto is actually a 43 year old man of Japanese descent whose birthday falls on April 5th, his whereabouts still remain a mystery. All is known is that Nakamoto is a genius who has effectively changed the future of technology and economics.
2. How does Bitcoin function?
Bitcoin operates through a peer-to-peer transaction, a decentralized exchange, wherein a middleman who supervises the transaction is uninvolved. Instead of an authority, a bitcoin transaction is verified and stored in a ledger called a blockchain wherein both the sender and the buyer’s information are stored, together with the amount exchanged between them. Although the level of anonymity may vary in Bitcoin transactions, the blockchain is heavily guarded by cryptography which prevents the system from being abused and hacked.
3. What is a Blockchain?
Blockchain technology makes the operation of Bitcoin dependable and irrepressible. Information stored within the blockchain are not merely kept in a singular computer, but are scattered all over the world which makes breakage, deletion, and theft near impossible. True to its name, a blockchain is a series of blocks which are connected through a chain of information that carries a code that modifies whenever new data is added.
4. The Genesis Block
When Nakamoto launched the software on 2009, he also mined block 0 or what is more popularly known as the Genesis Block. This block is quite special because it does not contain the hash of any previous block, making it a solid block of information and the foundation of the blockchain.
5. Mining and the race for Bitcoins
We must remember that Bitcoins are digital yet valuable. It may not be concrete like bills and coins but it has worth, and this means that it originates from somewhere. Bitcoin is created from mining, the process of validating a transaction through tedious problem solving that usually requires the trial-and-error method, and the investment of a sizeable hardware and time. When a transaction needs to be validated, miners all over the world race each other to match and process the legitimate code that allows a block to be added in the blockchain. The first miner that is able to do this is awarded with Bitcoins.
6. Not the sole Blockchain Technology
While Bitcoin is perhaps the most discussed type of blockchain technology, it is important to know that it is only one of many. Ethereum is a good example as it has been closely compared to Bitcoin; however, they function differently. From its establishment in 2014 by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum has been steadily making a name for itself as a pedestal that allows decentralization of applications. While Bitcoin focuses on decentralizing money transactions between individuals, Ethereum is geared towards decentralizing programs. These two are built on the same principle, but their decentralizing paths diverge towards different routes.
7. Education through Bitcoin
In 2014, King’s College became the first university in the United States of America to accept tuition fees in the form on Bitcoins. This manner of payment allowed the students to cut back on expenses which were usually charged on transaction fees as Bitcoin directly linked them to the university.
8. Bitcoin buzz in Hollywood
As a growing science and technology that is no longer limited to scholars and scientists, Bitcoin has garnered the attention of some celebrities who have entered the cryptocurrency scene and introduced its purpose in a realistic and public setting. Singer Björk has reportedly allowed her fans to purchase her album Utopia using Bitcoins, while Ashton Kutcher has co-founded an investment fund called A-Grade Investments which caters to merchants who support Bitcoin.
9. Virgin Galactic – Space Travel through Bitcoins
Space travel may be possible in the near future through Bitcoins! This is Richard Branson’s vision as he persistently cultivates the Virgin Galactic, a vehicle that would open the doors of outer space tourism. This futuristic idea together with the possibility of Bitcoin payment truly pushes the boundaries of modern technology and human experience.
10. Bitcoin for Humanity
Bitcoin is not just another technological ploy that is geared towards digitalizing concrete needs. Bitcoin, together with cryptocurrency, is a growing platform that desires the decentralization of goods, information, applications, and networks which can enrich the lives of all. It aims to empower and innovate, and eventually spread equity through the power of technology.