What is Bitcoin and How Does it Work?
Table of Content
Bitcoin Definition: A Number Guessing Game
The white paper describes Bitcoin (BTC) as a “peer-to-peer electronic money system.” But do you know where bitcoin comes from?
According to the rules, bitcoins are generated or delivered to the people who solve the specified mathematical problems. These maths problems are referred to as a hash that is a 64 digit hexadecimal number which is either less than or equal to the target hash. So, a bitcoin is a simple number like 12345.
For instance, if Mrs Rose takes out a 1 dollar bill with the number G6607081974P, this means that no other banknotes do not have this number (G6607081974P). Thus, while taking this into consideration, the Federal Reserve System will operate with a minimum degree of competition.
However, this bill contains the value of $1; then, Ms Rose can buy a cup of coffee from this.
Let’s pretend that two people agree that the R7607081974P ticket is worth $ 4,000. The only variation between Bitcoin # 12345 and the $1 bill # R7607081974P is that the $1 bill is real and has a face value. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is just a number with no intrinsic value. The number may have a value that two individuals agree on, but it has no value in and of itself. As a result, Bitcoin is produced by a bunch of people who enjoy guessing numbers.
So, what is the main purpose of this game first? Gambling is essential in the bitcoin network because it is a method that will help in verifying and securing the transaction history. So, anyone who thinks to contribute to new transactions in this network must know how to play and win it. Thus, it requires great computing power. Thus, it will be difficult and expensive for the attacker to create any problem or damage to the network.
What Supports Bitcoin And How Does It Work?
Unlike the other currencies, it is also well known that bitcoin is not issued by any central bank or any government. Subsequently, all the monetary policy, inflation rates, and economic growth indicators are not applicable for bitcoin. It is because the value of a currency is traditionally influenced by bitcoin.
Moreover, bitcoin is based on a blockchain that also comprises a distributed digital ledger. The blockchain (the chain of blocks) is a set of corresponding data which is made up of units called blocks. These blocks contain information about every transaction, such as the buyer and the seller. It can also include date and time, unique identification code, and total value for every operation. Thus, the inputs, when connected in a chronological sequence, form a digital chain of blocks.
Once the block is uploaded to the blockchain, it will be available for the people who want to see it. Thus, it will be considered as the public record of cryptocurrency transactions. Further, the blockchain will be decentralized, that means it will not be controlled by any or single entity. This digital blockchain is similar to the google document that can be edited by anyone. Also, it is not owned by anyone, but anyone can connect to contribute to it. However, the copy will be updated when different individuals make some changes to it.
Although it may appear insecure because anyone may modify the blockchain, this is exactly what makes Bitcoin stable and secure. A transaction block must be verified by the majority of Bitcoin miners in order to be included in the Bitcoin blockchain.
The encryption scheme for valid credentials used to identify user wallets and transactions should be followed. Forgery is incredibly tough because these unique codes are large arbitrary numbers. The statistical unpredictability of the blockchain verification codes needed for each transaction greatly reduces the chances of a fraudulent Bitcoin transaction by anyone connected to the network.
Why Was Bitcoin Created?
At the time of the 19th and 20th centuries, most of the famous currencies were converted into fixed amounts of gold or any other precious metals. However, during the 1920s and 1970s, most countries abandoned the gold standards. As a result of the strains of funding two world wars, the inability of global gold output to keep up with economic growth.
Physical assets such as gold and silver were also previously exchanged for commodities and services. Physical assets, on the other hand, were difficult to transfer and were prone to loss and theft, so banks secured them for their customers by printing banknotes that validated their bank holdings.
Users have faith in banks to protect their money and sustain the value of their currency. However, between 2008 and 2009, a number of banks and other financial institutions around the world went bankrupt, requiring governments to bail them out at the taxpayer’s expense.
The collapse of banks (as custodians of public monies) demonstrated how vulnerable the modern financial system might be, as well as the necessity to decentralise financial services to improve the consumer experience. As a result, Bitcoin was viewed as a reaction to the Great Financial Crisis and the financial world’s reliance on banks as transaction intermediates.
Satoshi Nakamoto proposed that banks be removed from financial transactions and replaced with a peer-to-peer payment (P2P) system that did not involve third-party verification, thereby removing the need for banks to facilitate each transaction. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies create trust through the blockchain, which is a network-based ledger. So, when did Bitcoin come into being?
On January 3, 2009, the first block was formed, which is known as the genesis block. The blockchain was also officially launched on that day. After a week, the first transaction was done. Thus, the bitcoin blockchain was available to miners who verified the transactions for the first few months after its existence.
At the time, Bitcoin had no real monetary value. Bitcoin was traded for pleasure by miners, the machines that solve complicated mathematical problems to find new Bitcoin and verify that current Bitcoin transactions are genuine and accurate.
On May 22, 2010, a Florida man agreed to deliver two $25 Papa John’s pizzas in exchange for 10,000 bitcoins, which took more than a year to accomplish. Since then, the day has been known as Bitcoin Pizza Day.
After the wake of this transaction, the bitcoin starting price or the value was set by four BTC per cent. There are many applications that are being currently explored with bitcoin. These are supply chain management, logistics, cross-company resources planning, DAOs or decentralized autonomous organizations and logistics.
When Was Bitcoin Created?
Bitcoin was created after the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. It is through a white paper which was written by a pseudonymous entity or group of people who are known as “Satoshi Nakamoto”. This crisis served as a strong motivation in the development of bitcoin. However, this article aims at providing insight into how long bitcoin has been around. Also, who started bitcoin and what is the use of cryptocurrency.
The financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, often known as the subprime mortgage crisis, was a global event that resulted in a large liquidity contraction in global financial markets (beginning in the United States) as a result of the housing market’s collapse.
The white paper provided the groundwork for the first fully functional digital money based on book technology at a time when the globe was mired in a global recession caused by excessive financial market speculation and banks risking millions of dollars in depositors’ funds. A blockchain is a distributed ledger technology (DLT). So, what exactly is Bitcoin, and how does it function?
The Bitcoin white paper was the first to lay out the principles of a cryptographically safe and trusted electronic payment system (P2P), with the goal of reclaiming power while being censorship-resistant and transparent. monetary for persons.
Moreover, bitcoin was created as an alternative to fiat currencies. So, it could become a well known currency in the world. Today, fiat currency is the most popular and used currency worldwide such as the British pound and the US dollar. These types of currencies are mostly controlled by the national government in its supply and creation. Also, these are backed up by the government who controls it.
On the other hand, bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology. This is to facilitate transactions between the users who thought that assets had an intrinsic value when being transferred. However, P2P also refers to the direct exchange of an asset among individuals without any centralized authority needs. Bitcoin is one such part of it.
What Is Bitcoin Made of Public And Private Keys In Bitcoin?
Basically, bitcoin is regarded as the most autonomous public key cryptosystem which facilitates the exchange of digital value. This is usually done between the peers along with a sequence of digitally signed transactions other than messages. Its process of flow of bitcoin transactions is similar to a series of encrypted messages. These can be found in public key cryptography and as of digital signature scheme.
To keep data safe from unwanted access or even use, public-key cryptography encrypts and decrypts it via a key pair. A digital signature is an electronic signature that verifies the validity and integrity of a digital message using a mathematical method. As a result, Bitcoin is a digital signature chain.
Each owner sends Bitcoin to the next by digitally signing a hash of the previous transaction and adding it to the end of the coin with the next owner’s public key. The beneficiary can verify the chain of ownership by looking at the signatures.
To transmit the needed amount of Bitcoin, individuals must have accessibility to the related public and private keys. However, by relating to someone who owns bitcoin means that it has the access to a key pair which includes public as well as private keys.
Bitcoin addresses also referred to as public keys, are procedurally chosen letters and digits that function similarly to an email address or a social media username. As the name implies, they are public, allowing users to safely share them with others. Users must actually reveal their Bitcoin address if they want someone to send them Bitcoin.
The private key is made up of a distinct set of letters and numbers that are generated at random. Private keys, like passwords for email or other services, should be kept private. To ensure that no one steals from you, never disclose your private key with someone you don’t completely trust.
A transparent safe can be compared to a Bitcoin address. Only the owner of the private key is allowed to open the safe and access the money. Others are only allowed to see what is inside it.
To Know More Read: What is the Purpose of Bitcoin: Speculation or Dollarization?
1. Entry And Exit Of Transactions
Handling of the coins individually is conceivable but if done separately then each transaction penny can be transferred will be inconvenient. Transaction on the other hand, contains many outputs and inputs which also allows the bitcoin value to be split and merged.
However, there is a single entry from the large earlier transaction. Else, there can be multiple entries which combine smaller amounts with two exits. The first one is for payment and the second one is to return the changes (if any) to the sender.
So, let’s look into an example. If Romeo wants to send 1 BTC to Juliet, he will sign a message along with all the important information about the transaction and the private key. The message will be broadcast to the network that include the following:
Entries: these contain details about the bitcoin amount which was delivered to Romeo’s address earlier. So, if Romeo received 0.7 BTC from Alice and 0.7 from Bob, now he has two inputs in front of him to send 1 BTC to Juliet. The first one is 0.7 BTC from Alice and the second one is 0.7 BTC from Bob.
Amount: The actual amount that Romeo wants to send to Juliet is 1 BTC.
Outputs: the initial output to Juliet’s public address is 1.4 BTC (0.7 BTC+0.7 BTC). Another output is 0.4 BTC when returned to Romeo as “change”.
2. Transmission And Confirmations Through The Network
In the example above, Romeo will use his wallet software to stream his planned transaction to the Bitcoin network. A set of network participants known as “miners” verifies the entries (that is, the address(es) from which Romeo previously acquired the Bitcoin he claims to own).
Miners also combine a range of required transactions broadcast to the network around the same time as Mark’s to form a block. Any miner who has accomplished the proof of work, or PoW, can add a new block to the chain or “connect” to it by referencing the preceding block. The new block is subsequently broadcast to the rest of the network.
If other network members (nodes) agree that it is a valid block, it will be transmitted (that is, transactions must include all the protocols and proper reference of the earlier block). Thus, another miner will end up constructing the following block by referencing the prior block if you propose it. Any transactions added to the previous block will be “confirmed” by the following miner. As more blocks are added to the chain, the number of confirmations for Romeo’s transaction rises.
What Is Bitcoin Mining And How Does It Work?
The bitcoin wallet is also known as the digital wallet that helps in storing Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH). This digital wallet will also store the encryption key, which gives access to public BTC addresses. Also, it allows them to make transactions. Thus, there are five types of bitcoin wallets available: hardware, mobile, paper, and web.
Bitcoin wallets not only store your digital money, but they also secure them with a distinct private key that can only be accessed by you and anybody else you give the code to. You can save, send, and receive numerous currencies and tokens with a cryptocurrency wallet. Others include built-in access to decentralised blockchain-based applications or DApps.
When you create a Bitcoin wallet, you’ll be given a private and public key that’s tied to it.
In the same way that an email address may be shared with everyone, a public key can. When you create your wallet, you also create a public key that you may share with anyone to accept funds.
The private key is the secret that one needs to keep with themselves. Such a key is similar to your password as you protect the password; you must also protect them. Thus, it should not be hacked or shared with anyone. Rather, you can spend money while using this private key. So, if anyone gains access to your private key, then there is a huge chance that your account may be hacked. And you will lose all the cryptocurrency deposits that you have made over the years.
Read More: WHAT IS AND HOW DOES BITCOIN MINING WORK.
What Is A Bitcoin Exchange, And How To Buy And Sell Bitcoin?
A Bitcoin exchange is a commercial transaction where traders may buy and sell BTC with fiat and altcoin currencies. A Bitcoin exchange is a website that acts as a middleman between buyers and sellers of Bitcoin.
Exchanges can use a market order or a limit order to purchase and sell Bitcoin, exactly like a traditional stock exchange. To trade Bitcoin on an exchange, a user must first register and then go through a number of identity verification procedures. The user’s account is created once they have properly authenticated, and they must fund it before they may purchase or sell BTC.
Moreover, there are some things that may be required to do before you invest in bitcoin. Below are some of these things:
How Anonymous Is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is also called “anonymous” as it is able to send and receive any personally identifiable information without disclosing it. Thus, obtaining reasonable anonymity along with BTC is difficult. It may require complete anonymity which can be unattainable.
Bitcoin is comparable to anonymous writing in that it may be sent and received anonymously. Everything an author has published under that name will be linked to him if his pseudonym is ever connected to his real identity.
On the Bitcoin network, your pseudonym is the location where you receive Bitcoin. At all times, every handling different address is logged on the blockchain. If your address matches your identification, each transaction will be connected to you. As a result, Bitcoin is pseudonymous rather than anonymous.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Bitcoin
The Bitcoin network is not governed by any government. Each user on the Bitcoin network is inherently responsible for the protocol’s operation. When compared to traditional financial infrastructures, Bitcoin users have more control over the user’s personal and financial information who use fiat currencies and other digital forms of payment like credit cards. They’re also less vulnerable to identity theft than users of fiat currency and other digital payment methods like credit cards.
Scammers perpetrate identity theft when they have enough information about a person’s identity, such as their name, present or past address, or date of birth. Due to cryptographic private keys, which protect a user’s identity behind a publicly viewable Bitcoin wallet address, the risk of identity theft when utilising crypto is low.
The Bitcoin hash rates are continuously breaking records as the measure of the aggregate collective power of computers/equipment are involved. Thus, it validates transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain whenever required.
Fortunately, as the Bitcoin blockchain becomes more resilient against the prospect of a 51 per cent attack, better network security has been built, guaranteeing that the common truth of the blockchain ledger is maintained, but a 51 per cent attack is always a possibility. A 51 per cent attack happens when one or more miners obtain control of more than 50% of a network’s mining power, computational power, or hash rate. If successful, the network and some transactions are essentially controlled by the miners in charge.
Moreover, a 51% of the attack allows miners to prevent the record of new transactions while prohibiting the transactions from being valid or complete. Along with this, it also allows them to change the order of the transactions while restricting other miners from mining coins or tokens in the bitcoin network. Thus, reversing the transactions into double spend coins.
For example, a double spend situation would allow miners to pay with a cryptocurrency and then reverse the transaction later. This means that the miners keep everything they acquired, including the cryptocurrency used in the transaction, and thereby defraud the seller. However, as a blockchain grows in size, rogue miners will find it more difficult to attack it. Smaller networks, on the other hand, may be more susceptible to a blocked attack.
Governments may attempt, as some jurisdictions have already done, to restrict, regulate, or prohibit the use and selling of Bitcoin. Furthermore, the volatility of Bitcoin is constantly in the news, which is a major reason why many traders avoid accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment since they are worried about a price decline. Unfortunately, Bitcoin is still being used to fund illegal activities and money laundering. Secret services around the world, on the other hand, are utilising cryptocurrency to improve their cybersecurity and crime-fighting skills.
Moreover, the irreversibility of the Bitcoin transactions is not always a good idea. If there is an attack, then a big problem can come into existence, like a wrong transaction or a fraudulent product exchange.
According to a key concept of modern finance, everything electronic must be reversible. If Bitcoin is truly the internet for money, it should also include a “back” button. Without an undo/back option, you can only avoid fraud. Fraud, on the other hand, can be recognised and minimised with the opportunity to undo it when something suspect has occurred and corrected.
In the case of BTC theft, on the other hand, a thief requires the private key in order to steal a million dollars in Bitcoin from a corporation. BTC balance transfers are irreversible because if hackers steal Bitcoin, there is no way to recover it. Furthermore, the Bitcoin wallet’s password is impossible to recover: if a user loses their password, the money in the wallet is lost.
The Future Of Bitcoin
Now the next ten years could be critical for Bitcoin’s evolution. Apart from the financial changes, there are a few characteristics of the Bitcoin ecosystem that investors should be aware of. The cryptocurrency is currently divided between being a store of value and a means of trade.
Despite the fact that governments worldwide, such as Japan, have acknowledged it as a viable means of payment for products, institutional investors are keen to become involved and profit from its price volatility.
Both events, however, have been hampered by scalability and security difficulties, preventing them from being the ideal medium of trade. Furthermore, questions about confidentiality, safeguarding, and capital efficiency must be addressed.
Hence, this industry is new, and there is no user friendly manual; it is important to do a good research and read many articles. It can be like What is cryptocurrency?, What is the Bitcoin blockchain?, How to mine Bitcoin?