What is Bitcoin?

A gateway to the future of money.

The original Bitcoin white paper can be found here.

No other explanation of will be closer to the truth.

The short answer is that is magical Internet money.

The more you understand the long answer is the easier you'll understand the short answer.

The long answer begins with the Abstract from 's white paper;

A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work.

The longest chain not only serves as proof of the sequence of events witnessed, but proof that it came from the largest pool of CPU power. As long as a majority of CPU power is controlled by nodes that are not cooperating to attack the network, they'll generate the longest chain and outpace attackers. The network itself requires minimal structure. Messages are broadcast on a best effort basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the longest proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone.

It's limited in number to 21,000,000 , placing it in the same realm of other finite assets such as gold and silver.

The creation of is matched against a rising slope of difficulty. This means that no matter how many super computers try to help, we won't manage to mine 21,000,000 until 2140, at best.

A block is mined roughly every 10 minutes, and there are roughly 144 blocks mined every day. The reward paid out in for the creation of each block is reduced by half every four years. The reward is 12.5 in 2017. It will become 6.25 in 2020 and 3.12 in 2024. This makes scarce.

The price of in 2024 is likely to be as different from today as today's price is different from 9 years ago.

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