Beginner's Guide to Bicoin

Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows transactions to be made directly between parties without going through a financial institution.

Its main qualities include being decentralized, peer-to-peer, borderless, and immutable.

Unlike fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar, Bitcoin is not regulated by a central authority like the government or a central bank.

Anyone who wants to hold or transact using bitcoin can do so from anywhere in the world through an internet connection. There is no need to go through an intermediary.

Anyone can join and participate in the Bitcoin network, and this can be done by voting, developing, or validating transactions.

Because of the complex cryptography involved in confirming transactions, it is impossible to tamper with archived transactions or for anyone to take over the entire network.

Team Background

Bitcoin’s origins could be traced back to 2008 when a paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was published under the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto.

The first known person to be involved in Bitcoin was programmer Hal Finney. On January 12, 2009, he downloaded the software needed to run it and received 10 bitcoins, making it the first-ever Bitcoin transaction.

Since then, a few individuals including Satoshi Nakamoto mined the currency on the network before the reins were handed to another programmer, Gavin Andresen.

Andresen is a graduate of Princeton University, co-authored the VRML 2.0 specification, and worked as a CTO of an early VOIP startup.

He created the Bitcoin Foundation in 2012, then stepped back as the lead developer of the bitcoin client software implementation in 2014.

How does Bitcoin work?

Just like fiat currency, bitcoin can be used to pay for goods and services based on the value of the cryptocurrency.

It can also be sent to other users with Bitcoin wallets, provided the sender knows the recipient’s Bitcoin address, which is made up of a long string of letters and numbers.

All transactions like these can be seen by everyone in the Bitcoin network, but the addresses cannot be traced back to their users.

When you make a transaction through the network, miners run the machines needed to validate and store the activity on a public ledger called the blockchain. As such, miners are responsible for maintaining the network and are rewarded with bitcoin.

Batches or “blocks” of these transactions are added to the blockchain, and each block is attached chronologically to the previous block to ensure that no bitcoin is double spent.

Token Metrics

  • Total supply: 19 million BTC
  • Max supply: 21 million BTC
  • Users: 76 million
  • Wallets: 200 million