What is Bitcoin, and why is it worth more than Gold?
McAllen (KFXV) – The recent attacks involving the “Wannacry” Ransomware has had an interesting side-effect in that its helping to boost the profile the Bitcoin Cyber-Currency. Many have asked, what is a bitcoin? Bitcoin is a digital currency that lets two people exchange money without involving any banks or credit card issuers or any kind of third parties. This one fact makes it a very attractive currency to cyberattackers as seen in the most recent ransomware attacks.
So what EXACTLY is a bitcoin? A user will mine a bitcoin by using their CPU power to verify transactions. In exchange for this CPU power, they will receive bitcoins. If you’re not a bitcoin miner, you can buy bitcoins through an exchange with US Dollars or other currency.
Currently its being traded at $1751.61 according to Coinbase. Historically speaking, this currency has massive fluctuations in value. When it started it wasn’t worth very much and many didn’t see the value. That is until it exponentially gained popularity and it’s value shot up to $20 to $450 and then hit a peak of 1000.00 in late 2015. Since then, it’s value has dipping and rocketing from about 200 to about $1700. Just to compare, Gold is trading at $1230.
FUN FACT: Many people celebrate what’s called Bitcoin Pizza Day, to celebrate a day in 2010, in which one programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 BTC for a pizza. Today that would be a pizza worth $17,516,100.00!
Bitcoin’s popularity comes from the fact that it’s possible to safely make a transaction without revealing the parties involved. This anonymity makes bitcoin very popular with criminals, libertarians, technophiles, and speculators. But user beware, while the parties cannot be readily identified, each transaction is known on what’s called a block-chain. This may allow anyone monitoring a specific account to know when it’s converted back into regular money.
Is it only for illegal stuff?
No. Many online businesses such as overstock.com and and even spaceX allows you to make your payments using bitcoin. It’s popularity is steadily growing, but is still far from being as popular as credit cards or cash.
How Safe is it?
Bitcoin transactions are kept in the blockchain. When miners ‘mine’ the blockchain to help count every transaction, it prevents the blockchain from spending bitcoins more than once, and these same miners are rewarded by receiving bitcoin. As long as the blockchain is secure, counterfeiting won’t be an issue.
Who created bitcoin?
It was founded in 2009, but someone using the name Satoshi Nakamoto, but the person behind this name has not been confirmed. What is real, is that the currency obeys its own internal logic will keep it running regardless of origin.