As the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC) is becoming an increasingly popular financial instrument. Many businesses and consumers use it as a means of exchange, while some even invest to take advantage of the Bitcoin price.
Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency. It was first released online in 2009, and it has grown in popularity ever since. Bitcoin operates on a peer-to-peer network that allows users to make digital financial transactions without the need for a financial institution to act as a middleman.
While not the first online digital currency, Bitcoin was the first to operate using a blockchain to secure and record transactions.
Who invented Bitcoin?
There is some mystery around who should get credit for inventing Bitcoin. The idea was first described in a white paper written under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. As of this writing, the true identity of the writer is still unknown. It is not even known if Satoshi Nakamoto is an individual or a group of people.
The white paper, published in October 2008, describes how the peer-to-peer digital currency would work. The writer proposed that transactions could be handled in batches and then secured using a cryptographic algorithm. These batches would be called “blocks,” and they would be linked together in a chain. This is where the term “blockchain” comes from.
The currency was then launched in January 2009, when Nakamoto mined the first block of Bitcoin. While Nakamoto is credited with inventing and launching Bitcoin, several others have worked to improve the code and increase security. The Bitcoin source code is currently housed on GitHub and lists the names of many of the key contributors who have been maintaining and updating the code.
How much Bitcoin is there?
New Bitcoin is created by a process known as “mining.” As transactions occur, they are handled by the miners who package them into blocks. This helps to keep the network running, and as compensation for using their computing power, they are awarded Bitcoin.
At the time of its launch, the reward was 50 Bitcoin per block processed. However, the award is cut in half every 210,000 blocks mined. Users also do not have to worry about the Bitcoin price getting overly diluted by too many coins being released on the market. Not only does it take time and effort to mine Bitcoin, the software has a limit of 21,000,000 coins. That means that the maximum number of Bitcoin that can exist is capped at 21,000,000.
At the time of writing, there is just over 18.7 million BTC in circulation.
Where to buy Bitcoin
As the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin can be bought on a number of exchanges. You can usually buy Bitcoin from USD, or you can use other world currencies and alternative cryptocurrencies to exchange for Bitcoin.
Some of the most popular exchanges include Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, Bitfinex, Huobi, KuCoin and OKEx. The different kinds of exchanges may cater to the needs of different types of users. It is recommended that users research different exchanges before signing up and buying Bitcoin.