Bitcoin (BTC)

1.0 BTC
$ 7,643.64 USD
-5.26 %

Bitcoin News

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About Bitcoin
Bitcoin Price
What is Bitcoin?
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Bitcoin Price

$ 7,643.64 USD
1.0 BTC
24hr Volume
$ 4,813,520,000.00 USD
Market Cap
$ 129,377,297,819.00 USD
1 Hour Change
-1.95 %
24 Hour Change
-5.26 %
7 Day Change
-16.59 %

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the world's most popular cryptocurrency. It is the first large scale digital currency and operates through a peer-to-peer system where transactions occur directly between users and are verified on a public, distributed ledger, known as the blockchain. Cryptography ensures the integrity of all transactions while keeping the transactions themselves visible to the ecosystem. Bitcoin was released by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 as open-source software.

Bitcoin Uses

Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency, meaning no government or central bank controls its use or acts as intermediary during an exchange of Bitcoin from one user to another. It has the potential for more anonymous transactions, depending on how a user acquires BTC. In-person Bitcoin purchases in exchange for fiat currency give you access to the cryptocurrency banking world without official identification. Similarly, some online cryptocurrency exchanges in countries with lax banking laws allow customers to exchange fiat for Bitcoin and other cryptos with little to no real identification. Otherwise, users in countries like the United States are required to register with their social security and driver’s license ID numbers, ensuring that “anonymous” blockchain transactions can be traced back to their owners.

Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoins are mined by computers using the hashcash proof-of-work system, which is a set of time-consuming algorithms used to validate every bitcoin transaction. Bitcoin miners are computing hardware designed specifically for the computations required to validate Bitcoin transactions. Each Bitcoin miner competes with other miners on the network to verify a set of transactions, known as a block. Bitcoin miners are rewarded in Bitcoin for successfully finalizing a block of transactions.

The Bitcoin proof-of-work system dictates that the processing power required for mining increases over time. For every 2,016 blocks mined, the system automatically adjusts the difficulty level of further proof-of-work. This will create a natural computational barrier at 21 million Bitcoins, which is the estimated maximum supply of bitcoin. Once that level is reached, the reward for mining bitcoins will reach zero and no further bitcoins will be produced. Miners would be incentivized to validate further transactions solely for transaction fees. This artificial scarcity of bitcoins is an innate feature of most cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin News 2017

2017 was a landmark year for Bitcoin and all other altcoins. Cryptocurrencies saw an unprecedented spike in interest and value, beginning in January 2017. The price of 1 Bitcoin crossed the $1K hurdle for the first time on January 2, 2017 – 1,124 days of being launched. It was also in mid-January that China decided to crack down on cryptocurrencies to stop the outflow of capital from China. Despite this, the price of Bitcoin rose further in April 2017 and by May 2017, the Bitcoin market cap crossed $25 billion for the first time.

Bitcoin Cash Fork August 2017

In August 2017, a vocal part of the Bitcoin community conducted a hard fork of the code and created Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Their version of the Bitcoin software increased the maximum size of a transaction block to handle the increase in transaction fees and validation times produced by the increased usage of the Bitcoin blockchain.

Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was created by copying the original Bitcoin blockchain and modifying it for future transactions based on the increased 8 MB block size. Bitcoin holders before the split, at block 478558 (August 1st, 2017 about 13:16 UTC), then had an equal number of Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin Cash use the flag SIGHASH_FORKID as a signature hashing algorithm.

Bitcoin SegWit2x

Another major Bitcoin fork was planned for November 2017 with the introduction of SegWit2x. SegWit2x was proposed to address the slower transaction times and higher fees by reducing the size of transactions themselves and increasing the block size from 1MB to 2MB. This Bitcoin fork was cancelled due to lack of consensus.

Bitcoin News China

In September 2017 China made headlines for shutting down cryptocurrency exchanges, leading to fear of a slowdown in the crypto trading world. Bitcoin’s momentum continued, however, and by October the Bitcoin market cap hit $100 billion. By November the BTC market cap was $150 billion and finally in December it peaked at $220 billion.

Bitcoin News 2018

The price of Bitcoin suffered a major correction at the end of 2017 and into 2018 as fear of over-speculation and interest in alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) rose. By January 2018, Bitcoin (BTC) represented only 38% of the total crypto market cap. Altcoins such as Ethereum and Ripple surged in interest and price at this time.

2018 will likely bring additional regulation to cryptocurrency markets, which may hamper speculation and reduce overall market activity. Other countries, including South Korea, have threatened to ban cryptocurrencies, as impulsive responses to the growing and unpredictable presence of cryptocurrency in the financial markets.

Bitcoin Origins

Bitcoin was proposed as a peer-to-peer payment network in a white paper posted to an online cryptography community in October 2008. The software went live in January 2009 and the first block was mined by Satoshi Nakamoto, the author of the whitepaper, for a reward of 50 bitcoins. This first block is known as the genesis block, and contained an interesting tagline, “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” This was perceived by many as a criticism of the modern banking system, which would be weakened by the use of decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

The first recipient of Bitcoin was a California-based programmer named Hal Finney, who downloaded the software on the day it was introduced. Satoshi Nakamoto is estimated to have mined over 1 million Bitcoins in the early years. Following Nakamoto’s mysterious retreat into anonymity and silence, the codebase has been managed by Gavin Andresen, a leading developer of the Bitcoin Foundation.

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