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Bitcoin what is it and is it still worth investing in 2017

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Bitcoin what is it?

Firstly this will be the single location where I post everything to do with my investment in BTC, I want to keep it in a central location so that you can easily come back and see updates. But as you see my progression the price of BTC will change, and it will change lots too, so if you want to just jump on the Bitcoin train then first head over to here, sign up (its free) and have a good read.

bitcoinBTC is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. No one controls it. Bitcoins aren’t printed, like dollars or euros – they’re produced by people, and increasingly businesses, running computers all around the world, using software that solves mathematical problems.

It’s the first example of a growing category of money known as cryptocurrency.

What makes it different from normal currencies?

Bitcoin can be used to buy things electronically. In that sense, it’s like conventional dollars, euros, or yen, which are also traded digitally.

However, bitcoin’s most important characteristic, and the thing that makes it different to conventional money, is that it is decentralized. No single institution controls the BTC network. This puts some people at ease, because it means that a large bank can’t control their money.

Who created it?

A software developer called Satoshi Nakamoto proposed bitcoin, which was an electronic payment system based on mathematical proof. The idea was to produce a currency independent of any central authority, transferable electronically, more or less instantly, with very low transaction fees.

Who prints it? (Bitcoin)

No one. This currency isn’t physically printed in the shadows by a central bank, unaccountable to the population, and making its own rules. Those banks can simply produce more money to cover the national debt, thus devaluing their currency.

Instead, bitcoin is created digitally, by a community of people that anyone can join. Bitcoins are ‘mined’, using computing power in a distributed network.

This network also processes transactions made with the virtual currency, effectively making bitcoin its own payment network.

So you can’t churn out unlimited bitcoins?

That’s right. The BTC protocol – the rules that make it work – say that only 21 million bitcoins can ever be created by miners. However, these coins can be divided into smaller parts (the smallest divisible amount is one hundred millionth of a BTC and is called a ‘Satoshi’, after the founder of bitcoin).

What is bitcoin based on?

bitcoinConventional currency has been based on gold or silver. Theoretically, you knew that if you handed over a dollar at the bank, you could get some gold back (although this didn’t actually work in practice). But bitcoin isn’t based on gold; it’s based on mathematics.

Around the world, people are using software programs that follow a mathematical formula to produce bitcoins. The mathematical formula is freely available, so that anyone can check it.

The software is also open source, meaning that anyone can look at it to make sure that it does what it is supposed to.

What are its characteristics?

BTC has several important features that set it apart from government-backed currencies.

1. It’s decentralized

The BTC network isn’t controlled by one central authority. Every machine that mines bitcoin and processes transactions makes up a part of the network, and the machines work together. That means that, in theory, one central authority can’t tinker with monetary policy and cause a meltdown – or simply decide to take people’s bitcoins away from them, as the Central European Bank decided to doin Cyprus in early 2013. And if some part of the network goes offline for some reason, the money keeps on flowing.

2. It’s easy to set up

Conventional banks make you jump through hoops simply to open a bank account. Setting up merchant accounts for payment is another Kafkaesque task, beset by bureaucracy. However, you can set up a bitcoin address in seconds, no questions asked, and with no fees payable.

3. It’s anonymous

Well, kind of. Users can hold multiple BTC addresses, and they aren’t linked to names, addresses, or other personally identifying information. However…

4. It’s completely transparent

…bitcoin stores details of every single transaction that ever happened in the network in a huge version of a general ledger, called the blockchain. The blockchain tells all.

If you have a publicly used BTC address, anyone can tell how many bitcoins are stored at that address. They just don’t know that it’s yours.

There are measures that people can take to make their activities more opaque on the BTC network, though, such as not using the same bitcoin addresses consistently, and not transferring lots of bitcoin to a single address.

5. Transaction fees are miniscule

Your bank may charge you a £10 fee for international transfers. The BTC Crypto Currency doesn’t.

6. It’s fast

bitcoin

You can send money anywhere and it will arrive minutes later, as soon as the bitcoin network processes the payment.

7. It’s non-repudiable

When your BTC is sent, there’s no getting them back, unless the recipient returns them to you. They’re gone forever.

So, BTC has a lot going for it, in theory. But how does it work, in practice? Read more to find out how bitcoins are mined, what happens when a bitcoin transaction occurs, and how the network keeps track of everything.


 

A lover of all things tech, love all things that uses creative juices (not an innuendo) an avid blogger and part time vlogger, now stop reading and go check out some awesome posts on this site.

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BCH Miners Discuss Funding Development With a Fraction of Block Rewards

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On May 19 a group of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) miners met after the Coingeek Conference in Hong Kong to discuss a new proposal which would fund BCH development and professional programmers who work on the protocol. The funding would stem from a portion of the miners block reward, and attendees discussed donating between 1-5 percent of rewards to fund developers.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Warren Warned by Billboards, Coinbase Tempted by Banking

A Positive Meeting Takes Place in Hong Kong Between BCH Industry Executives, Mining Pools, and Developers

After an innovative event at Calvin Ayre’s Coingeek Conference in Hong Kong members of the Bitcoin Cash industry including high profile executives, and lead developers met to discuss a new proposal. Attendees of the meeting included executives from the pool BTC.top, Coingeek, Viabtc, Jihan Wu and Jiazhi Jiang from Bitmain’s Antpool, Roger Ver and other representatives from the Bitcoin.com pool, Amaury Séchet of Bitcoin ABC, Electron Cash founder Jonald Fyookball, and Jerry Chan from SBI Bits.

The meeting discussed how attendees envisioned where BCH development would go and how to continue funding the project in the future. Moreover, other blockchain projects that fund development through mining rewards were also discussed between the meeting participants. Alongside this, the attendees talked about how the funds would be distributed and how miners could use their signatures to vote on certain development projects. Members deliberated different concepts like an OP_Code ‘Timelock’ method — a smart contract technique that restricts the spending of coins until a certain block height or time.

BCH Miners Discuss Funding Development With a Fraction of Block Rewards

Bitcoin Cash Miners Discuss Voting on Proposals

“Virtually all of the mining pool representatives agreed to support a proposal that would allow miners to vote to fund community proposed initiatives, voting on them in the same way that vote signaling works now,” a representative from Bitcoin.com who attended the meeting explained to our newsdesk.

If a proposal crossed a 75% threshold, it would pass — And would be funded with some predetermined amount from every block found.

As mentioned above, a percentage of 1-5 percent of the block reward was considered, but for now, there have been no agreed terms set at the meeting. An example of how much funding a small percentage of the block rewards would be, shows that roughly 1 percent of a month’s work of block rewards is about $650,000 USD if BCH prices are above $1,200 per coin.

What do you think about miners donating block rewards to help fund BCH development? Let us know your thought on this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoin.com, and Pixabay. 

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Twitter briefly shut down @Bitcoin, sparking wild conspiracy theories

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Twitter suspended the @Bitcoin Twitter account, which is run by an anonymous user, over the weekend. The account was briefly taken over by a user who claimed to be Turkish, then a user who claimed to be Russian, before apparently being restored to its previous owner Monday afternoon.

“We do not comment on individual accounts so nothing to share,” a Twitter spokesperson said when asked about the suspension. “That’s some bullshit if you ask me,” the user behind @Bitcoin tweeted. “I’d like to know why my account was given to someone else, and then when it’s reinstated I’m missing 750,000 of my followers.”

The @Bitcoin account had more than 821,000 followers when it was suspended. Those followers disappeared, but it appears that Twitter is slowly restoring them.

The mysterious suspension naturally stoked conspiracy theories in the bitcoin community. The @Bitcoin account is supportive of Bitcoin Cash, also known as Bcash. Bitcoin Cash was founded by a group of developers, miners, and other members of the community who split off in August 2017, duplicating the bitcoin blockchain and establishing a new cryptocurrency, after a dispute over how to address the growing network’s scaling issues.

The relationship between Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin, or Bitcoin Core, is acrimonious. Some Bitcoin Cash supporters suspected that their enemies on the Bitcoin Core side caused @Bitcoin’s suspension by falsely reporting it to Twitter for spam or harassment.

Some said they believed the account had been previously been hijacked by Bitcoin Cash supporter Roger Ver. The account, which was registered in August 2011 according to its Twitter bio, only began tweeting about Bitcoin Cash in January. At the time, @Bitcoin tweeted, “The ownership of this account has not changed hands. I became busy with other things, much has changed since then and I’ve decided to take a more active role in the community once again.” Ver claims he has no connection to the account, and that it “is owned by someone involved in Bitcoin since 2009.”

“I’d love to hear a public explanation from @twittersupport about why #bitcoin competitor #LightningNetwork investor @jack disabled this account, gave it to someone else, only to return it in the face of public backlash with 750,000 fewer followers,” the @Bitcoin account tweeted after being restored.

Some felt that the @Bitcoin account shouldn’t be used by anyone. “Twitter is a platform for people to promote their own agenda,” tweeted Nick Tomaino, a cryptocurrency venture capital investor. “Only right that @bitcoin stays inactive/suspended.”

Twitter started blocking cryptocurrency-related ads at the end of March, but confirmed it does not have content rules specific to cryptocurrencies.

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