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Bitcoin is the world’s first successful decentralised cryptocurrency as well as payment system,founded in 2009 by a mystery developer identified as only Satoshi Nakamoto. The name “cryptocurrency” refers to a category of digital assets where transactions are safeguarded and validated using cryptography – a scientific method of encoding and decoding data. Those transactions are generally maintained on computers scattered all over the globe using a distributed ledger technology called blockchain.

Bitcoin may be broken into smaller units known as “satoshis” (up to 8 decimal places) and used for payments, but it’s also regarded a store of value like gold. This is because the price of a single bitcoin has climbed dramatically since its beginnings – from less than a penny to tens of thousands of dollars. When regarded as a market asset, bitcoin is represented by the ticker symbol BTC.

Bitcoin works on a peer-to-peer network where users — often people or corporations that wish to trade bitcoin with others on the network — do not need the support of middlemen to conduct and verify transactions. Users may opt to link their computer directly to this network and get its public ledger in which all the history bitcoin transactions are recorded. Since its name indicates, the Bitcoin blockchain is a digital string of chronologically ordered “blocks” – bits of code that hold bitcoin transaction data. However, it is vital to emphasise that verifying transactions and bitcoin mining are different operations. Mining may still occur whether transactions are posted to the blockchain or not. Therefore, a boom in Bitcoin transactions does not always boost the pace at which miners locate new blocks.

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