Bitcoin (BTC) is a cryptocurrency that employs a peer-to-peer technology in its operations. That is, it has no central authority or banks. Hence management of transactions and issuance of BTCs is carried out collectively by the network. Though Bitcoin is not the first cryptocurrency to have graced the market, however, it is the first cryptocurrency that is decentralized, with its reputation having spawned copies and evolution in the space.
Bitcoin has shown that it is here to stay. This is evident in its emergence as the cryptocurrency with the largest variety of markets and the biggest value; it has reached an astonishing peak of 18 billion USD. Like any other new invention, Bitcoin is still open to improvements or flaws in the initial model. However, the community as a whole and a dedicated team of developers are on course to overcome any obstacle that comes their way. BTC is the most traded cryptocurrency in the market and is one of the primary entry points for all other cryptocurrencies. Another quality of the Bitcoin is its unstable price, which is capable of going up or down by 10 to 20 % in just a day.
As an SHA-256 POW coin, Bitcoin has 21 million total minable coins, and the block time is ten minutes.
Using BTC on mobile, you can easily pay with an easy two-step scan and pay. There are no requirements to sign up, type a pin, and swipe your card or the need to sign anything. The only prerequisite to receiving BTC payments is displaying the QR code in your Bitcoin Wallet App for your friend or the person transferring them to you to scan. Another option is using NFC radio technology, which works by touching the two mobile phones together.
Securing all Bitcoin transactions is the military grade cryptography. This makes it impossible for anyone to charge you a fee or make a payment for you. As long as your wallet is well secured, one can grant you total autonomy over your money while preventing you strongly against frauds and related crimes.
Bitcoin, just like the email, works anywhere and every time. Making it work does not require you asking your family or friend to use the same software or service providers. Everyone could use different software and or service providers. They are all compatible, and they employ the same open technology in their operations. Irrespective of the time of the day, the Bitcoin network neither sleeps nor go on breaks, hence accessible all the time.
Distance or borders is not a barrier to sending BTCs. In fact, transferring BTCs over borders is as easy as transferring them across the street. These transactions do not require banks, which are capable of making you wait for multiple business days, or charge you extra fees for making international transfers, or slam special limitations on the minimum or maximum amount you can spend or transfer.
No fees are attached to receiving Bitcoins, and many wallets allow you to control how large a fee to pay when spending. Majority of the wallets have affordable default fees, while higher fees can allow faster confirmation of your transactions. However, fees are not associated with the amount being sent. Hence it is possible to send 10,000 BTCs at the same fee it will cost to send just a single BTC.
With Bitcoin, your identity is safe. No associated credit card number could be traced by some malicious individuals to use it in impersonating you. Interestingly, BTC transfers can be done without revealing your identity, almost just like in the case of physical money. However, it should be noted that protecting your privacy may require some efforts.
The entire Bitcoin relies on a shared public ledger called the Blockchain. On the Blockchain, all confirmed Bitcoin transactions are included. This has enabled Bitcoin wallets to calculate their spendable balance, and fresh transactions can be confirmed to be spending the Bitcoins that are owned by the sender. Using cryptography, Blockchain's integrity and chronological order are enforced.
A transaction can be described as a transfer of value between two Bitcoin wallets, with such transfer being included in the Blockchain. Bitcoin wallets keep a private piece of data referred to as the private key or seed. This private key is used in signing transactions, providing a mathematical proof that the transfer has truly come from the owner of the wallet. Also, the signature shields the transaction from alteration by anyone, once it has been issued. All transactions are broadcasted between users. Such transactions are confirmed by the Blockchain network, through a process termed ‘Mining,' in the following ten minutes of making them.
Mining defines a dispersed consensus system exploited in the confirmation of pending transactions, by their attachment to the Blockchain technology. Mining enforces a chronological order in the Blockchain while protecting the neutrality of the network and allowing various computers to be in accord with the state of the system. For transactions to be confirmed, they must be packed in a block which fits very strict cryptographic rules, which will be verified by the Blockchain network. Such rules prevent existing blocks from being changed because any alteration made to them will make all following blocks invalid.
Mining also creates the equivalence of a competitive lottery in which an individual is stopped from adding new blocks consecutively in the blockchain. With this in place, no individual can control what is contained in the blockchain or substitute parts of the Blockchain to revert their spending.