Bitcoin is a digital currency created in 2009 and operates without any central authority, meaning it’s decentralized. The value of bitcoin (BTC) has fluctuated fiercely over the years but is now worth around $45k for one BTC. Bitcoin can be bought and sold on specialized exchanges. A person can also buy bitcoins from someone else using online marketplaces or through friends.
Six Things You Might Not Know About Bitcoin
Bitcoin has been on the rise for years now, and it’s not going away anytime soon. It’s even starting to become accepted as a form of payment at some places worldwide! Even if you have heard of or known about bitcoin, here are the top 6 things you might not know about bitcoin.
1) Satoshi: The Creator
Satoshi Nakamoto created bitcoin, but the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is still unknown. It has always been a mystery, and there are many theories around the Internet about Him/Her. However, it’s believed that Satoshi is likely to be a pseudonym for more than one person who created bitcoin together.
We don’t even know if Satoshi is dead or alive, as no person on the planet has ever met them. However, if Nakamoto is alive, he should be wealthy as his wallet holds more than 980,000 bitcoins. If you are wondering the price, it would be 44billion as of the price when this article was written.
2) Bitcoin Private Key
A Bitcoin Private key is an alphanumeric string that allows you to access your bitcoins. Think of it as a password to access your wallet. Whoever controls the private spending key owns the bitcoin within that address. Keeping this information secure is necessary because anyone who knows it can take all the bitcoins from their associated addresses.
The private key is mathematically related to the bitcoin address and its corresponding public address. However, it’s difficult (if not impossible) for someone to reverse this relationship because of cryptographic functions.
Many people have lost their private key, thus losing bitcoin forever. If you lose your Bitcoin Private key, there is no way to recover them.
To safeguard yourself, you can write your private key and store it somewhere safely (on paper) so that you don’t lose it. You should not keep your bitcoin private keys on a computer as they can be hacked.
3) Processing Power
Bitcoin is secured by some of the most powerful supercomputers globally that are constantly competing against each other. Its process can be complex and challenging, but what if you want to mine for bitcoins using your computer?
Theoretically, you can still do it since bitcoin mining software is available and accessible. However, you will have to put in some serious hours before you get any substantial results. If you don’t want to use your computer power, cloud services provide bitcoin mining capability.
The amount of processing power needed for bitcoin mining changes over time, and it can only be estimated based on the rate of block generation.
4) Power Consumption
Bitcoin mining is very power-intensive. It’s estimated that bitcoin miners worldwide consume more electricity each year than many countries do! As more and more people are joining the network, the process of mining bitcoins becomes more challenging. Miners are looking for faster ways to complete their work to get a higher return on investment. The Bitcoin network has been designed to make the mining of bitcoins more difficult as more bitcoins are generated, and quite often, it becomes unprofitable.
5) Bitcoin Ban
Even though in many countries, bitcoin is illegal, and we hear the news of countries banning bitcoin, it is impossible. Unlike currencies (e.g., dollars), bitcoins are not printed and thus cannot be destroyed. Governments have no power over bitcoin, and there’s nothing they can do as long as you’re using your computer like an average person (to store or transfer bitcoin).
6) Limited Bitcoins
There cannot be an unlimited amount of bitcoins, unlike dollars which can be printed unlimited. The only bitcoin that can ever exist is 21 million. The current estimation is that more than 17 million bitcoins are already in circulation, and it will take another 94 years to mine all of the remaining bitcoins.