It’s difficult ot see the value in bitcoin if you dont understand why the money we have in the rest of the world isn’t that good as money. -Adam B. Levine, Host of “Let’s Talk Bitcoin”
“Central authorities and money are traditionally used as levers of power to inflate currency causing it to lose power, which is essentially a form of confiscation or hidden taxation when your savings account depletes in its purchasing power because a central government is printing money to finance its own activities.” -Andreas Antonopoulos, bitcoin entrepreneur, who’s on the advisory boards of several bitcoin startups and serves as the Chief Security Officer of Blockchain.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a crypto currency. It’s basically internet money. A system of money that exists on the internet and was created on the internet. It allows you to send and receive value the same way you send and receive email. any where in the world, instantaneously, w/o an intermediary. A set of protocols that allow you to exchange value with other people.
Many people are excited about Bitcoin for a number of reasons. One reason is that it has gone up 125 percent in value last year alone, and is now approaching an all time high of $1,163 in late 2013, and stands at $1,013.35 at the time of this article being published per price index Coindesk.
While most analysts and investors expect the extreme gains to continue, some are wary of the currency’s history of extreme volatility.
Unlike traditional currencies such as the US dollar that are sponsored by a nation’s central bank, Bitcoin is completely decentralized and because of its anonymity, it’s easier to move it between countries than conventional, regulated currencies. Bitcoin is not owned by any corporation, bank or government, just like the web or email isn’t owned by anyone.
The same things that make Bitcoin attractive are the same things that makes it popular for making payments on the dark web, where it helps make transactions possible for all kinds of illicit products and services – including illegal drugs, weaponry, human trafficking and more.
Since its inception in 2008, Bitcoin has grown into a technology, a currency, an investment vehicle, and a community of users.
What is the blockchain?
The blockchain is a distributed, public ledger that contains the history of every bitcoin transaction. Anyone can download a copy of the blockchain, and it can be inspected it to trace the path of bitcoins from one bitcoin transaction to another. It should be noted that while there is a record of every bitcoin transaction ever made, these transactions are not inherently linked to real life identities. For this reason, Bitcoin is considered pseudonymous.
What is a Block?
A Block refers to a set of Bitcoin transactions from a certain time period. Blocks are “stacked” on top of each other in such a way that one block depends on the previous. In this manner, a chain of blocks is created, and thus we come to the term “blockchain”.
How do I buy/sell Bitcoin?
The first thing you need is a Bitcoin wallet. There are quite a few Bitcoin wallets on the market, but a few of us here at GrowTheHeckUp have already begun buying and investing in Bitcoin, and the wallet we use is called Coinbase. To join Coinbase and get started buying and selling bitcoin, click on our affiliate link and dive in: https://www.coinbase.com/join/58741c847d98e5006dac3413
Key properties of bitcoin:
- Limited Supply – There will only ever be 21,000,000 bitcoins created and they are issued in a predictable fashion, you can view the inflation schedule here. Once they are all issued Bitcoin will be truly deflationary as coins are only lost over time.
- Open source – Bitcoin code is fully auditable. You can read the source code yourself here.
- Accountable – The public ledger is transparent, all transactions are seen by everyone.
- Decentralized – Bitcoin is globally distributed across thousands of nodes with no single point of failure and as such can’t be shut down similar to how Bittorrent works.
- Censorship resistant – No one can prevent you from interacting with the bitcoin network and no one can censor, alter or block transactions that they disagree with, see Operation Chokepoint.
- Push system – There are no chargebacks in bitcoin because only the person who owns the address where the bitcoins reside has the authority to move them.
- Low fee – Transactions cost a few cents, most wallets calculate this automatically but you can view current fees here.
- Borderless – No country can stop it from going in/out, even in areas currently unserved by traditional banking as the ledger is globally distributed.
- Trustless – Bitcoin solved the Byzantine’s Generals Problem which means nobody needs to trust anybody for it to work.
- Pseudonymous – No need to expose personal information when purchasing with cash or transacting.
- Secure – Encrypted cryptographically and can’t be confiscated with proper key management such as hardware wallets.
- Nearly instant – From a few seconds to a few minutes depending on need for confirmations.
- Peer-to-peer – No intermediaries with a cut, no need for trusted third parties.
- Portable – Bitcoins are digital so they are easier to move than cash or gold. They can even be transported by simply remembering a string of words for wallet recovery.
- Scalable – Each bitcoin is divisible down to 8 decimals allowing it to grow in value while still accommodating micro-transactions.
- Designed Money – Bitcoin was created to fit all the fundamental properties of money better than gold or fiat
Read the whitepaper that started it all, written by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Stay tuned to this page, as we continue to add updates and resources!