What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and a payment system, first proposed by an anonymous person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part.

Bitcoin is unique in that there are a finite number of them: 21 million. Satoshi Nakamoto envisioned that as Bitcoin gained popularity, the value of a single bitcoin would increase.

What is a Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography to secure its transactions and to control the creation of new units. Cryptocurrencies are decentralized, meaning they are not subject to government or financial institution control. Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, was created in 2009.

What is a Blockchain?

A blockchain is a digital ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. It is constantly growing as "completed" blocks are added to it with a new set of recordings. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. Bitcoin nodes use the block chain to differentiate legitimate Bitcoin transactions from attempts to re-spend coins that have already been spent elsewhere.

What is a Bitcoin Wallet?

A Bitcoin wallet is a software program where bitcoins are stored. Bitcoin wallets are used to send and receive bitcoins, as well as to store the private key that allows bitcoins to be spent. Bitcoin wallets are also used to store and monitor mining rewards and transactions.

What is a Bitcoin Address?

A Bitcoin address is a unique identifier assigned to a user's Bitcoin wallet. Addresses are used to receive bitcoins, as well as to send them to others. Bitcoin addresses are also used to monitor payments.

What is a Bitcoin Transaction?

A Bitcoin transaction is a transfer of value between Bitcoin wallets that gets included in the block chain. Bitcoin transactions are verified by Bitcoin nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a block chain.

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