What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin (BTC) is a decentralized digital currency created in January 2009 by a group of programmers under the alias ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’. BTC became the first real-world application of blockchain, a technology that is based on Distributed Ledger Technology. This opened the door to the global tech community allowing them to create other types of digital transfers and payments which can take advantage of the democratic nature of the blockchain system. Bitcoin is more than just a just ground-breaking technology — it is a currency with genuine, transferable value which can be exchanged or traded against other currencies, as well as used to purchase products and services in legal markets. Bitcoin is the pioneer of blockchain, and the standard by which all other digital currencies that follow are measured. Bitcoin remains the cryptocurrency market leader after breaking new ground in data management and payment transfer. Inspired by Bitcoin’s success, countless other digital currency initiatives and start-up projects have since cropped up.

What is Bitcoin mining?

Bitcoin mining is the process by which Bitcoin is released into circulation. Generally, mining requires solving computationally difficult puzzles to discover a new block, which is added to the blockchain. Bitcoin mining adds and verifies transaction records across the network. Miners are rewarded with some Bitcoin; the reward is halved every 210,000 blocks. The block reward was 50 new bitcoins in 2009. On May 11, 2020, the third halving occurred, bringing the reward for each block discovery down to 6.25 bitcoins. A variety of hardware can be used to mine Bitcoin. However, some yield higher rewards than others. Certain computer chips, called application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), and more advanced processing units, such as graphic processing units (GPUs), can achieve more rewards. These elaborate mining processors are known as “mining rigs.” One bitcoin is divisible to eight decimal places (100 millionths of one bitcoin), and this smallest unit is referred to as a Satoshi.6 If necessary, and if the participating miners accept the change, Bitcoin could eventually be made divisible to even more decimal places. (1reference Investopedia)

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