Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency, without a central bank or single administrator, that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.
Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people called Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and released as open-source software in 2009.
Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. As of February 2015, over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment. Bitcoin can also be held as an investment.
According to research produced by Cambridge University in 2017, there are 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.
What Are Bitcoin Fundamentals?
Bitcoin fundamentals are the underlying aspects of the bitcoin protocol that allow it to function as a decentralized peer-to-peer electronic cash system. These fundamentals include the Bitcoin network’s consensus rules, its decentralized nature, and its cryptographic security.
The Bitcoin network’s consensus rules are what allow it to function properly as a decentralized peer-to-peer system. These rules define how new bitcoins are created (through mining), how transactions are verified and added to the blockchain, and how users can access their bitcoins.
Without these rules, the Bitcoin network would not be able to function properly or securely.
The decentralized nature of the Bitcoin network is another one of its key fundamentals. Because there is no central authority controlling the network, it is resistant to censorship and fraud.
This decentralization also makes the Bitcoin network more resilient to attack; if one part of the network goes down, the rest can continue functioning normally.
Finally, the cryptographic security of the Bitcoin protocol is what allows users to trust that their bitcoins will remain safe and secure. The math behind cryptography is complex, but essentially it allows users to prove that they own certain bitcoins without having to reveal their identity or location.
This allows for a completely secure and private way of conducting transactions on the Bitcoin network.