You may have heard of the word “Bitcoin” more than the word “Block chain”. It’s true that today many people are aware of the digital currency bitcoin while it is merely one of the seven hundred applications that use the “Block chain” technology.
Bitcoin first appeared in a 2008 white paper authored under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The white paper detailed an innovative peer to peer electronic cash system called Bitcoin that enabled online payments to be transferred directly, without an intermediary.
So what exactly is a Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is basically a form of virtual currency. It allows you to purchase electronically through merchants and also can be transferred between friends. Every single purchase or transaction is logged digitally on a transaction track that tracks the time of purchase and updates who owns how many bitcoins. This digital transaction log is called blockchain.
The blockchain records every single transaction – of present and past – and the ownership of every single bitcoin in circulation. The people who are constantly verifying the blockchain, ensuring that all the information is correct and updating it each time a transaction is made, are called ‘miners’. Their job is to ensure that the transaction is secure and processed properly and safely. In return for their services, miners are paid fees by the merchants of each transaction.
More than $1.5 billion worth of bitcoins are currently in circulation around the world, with millions of transactions occurring daily. Needless to say, the popularity and usage of Bitcoin is picking up very quickly as more and more businesses and individuals are becoming aware of its benefits and advantages over traditional currencies.
This article was also published in the Campbell Express Nov 2017, and on Medium