Bitcoin is an open source p2p form of digital currency.
What exactly does that mean?
Bitcoin for the first time, is a currency that is truly the people’s currency, with no government or central figure controlling cash production, inflation, etc. In fact, Bitcoin takes a deflationary model where storing Bitcoin should in fact increase value as only 21 million of them are ever going to exist, and there will be no replacements so ones lost will forever be lost.
It’s also p2p, or peer to peer. This means that when sending or receiving money it goes directly from person A to person B, meaning no middleman, little to no fees, and faster transaction times. Like how email revolutionized the way we send and receive mail, Bitcoin will change the way we send and receive money.
Arguably more important than Bitcoin it is the blockchain. The blockchain is the public ledger for cryptocurrencies, and keeps track of every transaction made. This is publicly available, and anyone can view it.
Also many things can be built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, such as colored coins. These still have the security and basic features like 10 minute block times akin to Bitcoin, but they can represent completely different things. This network is maintained in a decentralized manner, with everyone essentially pitching in. The ability for a single entity to control the network is discouraged, with someone needing 51% or more of the mining machines to attempt this.
It’s also pseudo-anonymous. Using Bitcoins keeps your transactions safe as it’s more difficult to track transactions going from string of digits to a different string of digits (addresses). You can even use mixers or other services to make your transactions even harder to track.
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