The Bitcoin (BTC) price is currently $6402.35 in USD, with a circulating supply of 17.22M BTC. Its market capitalization (market cap) is $110.23B. $4.36B worth of BTC has been traded in the last 24 hours, with its price changing by -1.42% over this period.
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Launched in 2009, Bitcoin is the world’s first cryptocurrency. It was created by a pseudonymous person or group going by the name Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin is revolutionary because it’s a decentralized and trustless currency with no central issuing authority.
The technology that makes this possible is called blockchain. Blockchain is a database organized into groups called “blocks” that stores and validates transactions. Each new block uses a cryptographic method, called hashing, to include a reference to the data in the previous block. This creates a chain in the sense that to change any data in a block would in turn change the next block, and so on down the line.
For new blocks of transactions to be made, computational power is required from “miners”. Miners are essentially computers randomly trying to solve a math problem, though this is a bit of an oversimplification. This “Proof of Work” which requires high energy costs deters malicious actors from attempting to alter the network.
When a new block is successfully mined, the miner is given a “block reward” of 12.5 Bitcoins and the transaction fees of users in that block. This is the incentive mechanism of the cryptocurrency for users to secure its network. The block reward halves over time, until all 21,000 Bitcoin have been mined. It’s estimated the last Bitcoins will be mined in the year 2140.
With Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto succeeded in created the world’s first truly peer-to-peer currency.
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