Posted On 03.07.1969
To cut through some of the confusion surrounding bitcoin, we need to bitcoin hacking it into two components. On the other hand, you have bitcoin-the-protocol, a distributed network that maintains a ledger of balances of bitcoin-the-token. Both are referred to as “bitcoin.
The system enables payments to be sent between users without passing through a central authority, such as a bank or payment gateway. It is created and held electronically. It was the first example of what we today call cryptocurrencies, a growing asset class that shares some characteristics of traditional currencies, with verification based on cryptography. A pseudonymous software developer going by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto proposed bitcoin in 2008, as an electronic payment system based on mathematical proof.
The idea was to produce a means of exchange, independent of any central authority, that could be transferred electronically in a secure, verifiable and immutable way. To this day, no-one knows who Satoshi Nakamoto really is. In what ways is it different from traditional currencies? Bitcoin can be used to pay for things electronically, if both parties are willing. In that sense, it’s like conventional dollars, euros, or yen, which are also traded digitally. Bitcoin’s most important characteristic is that it is decentralized. No single institution controls the bitcoin network.
It is maintained by a group of volunteer coders, and run by an open network of dedicated computers spread around the world. In electronic fiat currencies, this function is fulfilled by banks, which gives them control over the traditional system. With bitcoin, the integrity of the transactions is maintained by a distributed and open network, owned by no-one. With bitcoin, on the other hand, the supply is tightly controlled by the underlying algorithm. A small number of new bitcoins trickle out every hour, and will continue to do so at a diminishing rate until a maximum of 21 million has been reached.