Bitcoin’s most unique advantage is that it was the first cryptocurrency to hit the market.
It has created a global community and a whole new industry of millions of enthusiasts who create, invest, trade and use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in their daily lives. The emergence of the first cryptocurrency created the conceptual and technological basis, which in turn spurred the development of thousands of competing projects.
The entire cryptocurrency market, now worth more than $2 trillion, is based on the idea that Bitcoin implemented: money that can be sent and received by anyone anywhere in the world, independent of trusted intermediaries such as banks and financial services companies.
Thanks to its pioneering nature, BTC remains a leader in this dynamic market after more than a decade. Bitcoin has lost its undisputed dominance but remains the largest cryptocurrency to surpass $1 trillion in market capitalization in 2021 after its price hit an all-time high of $64,863.10 on April 14, 2021. Institutional interest in Bitcoin is growing, and platforms that provide BTC usage: wallets, exchanges, payment services, online games, etc.
What is Bitcoin (BTC)?
Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency that was first described in a 2008 introduction by a person or group of people by name of Satoshi Nakamoto. It was soon released in January 2009.
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer online currency where all transactions are conducted directly between equal and independent network participants, without the need for the approval or facilitation of any intermediary. Bitcoin was created to allow, in Nakamoto’s own words, “to send online payments directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”
Although some concepts of similar decentralized cryptocurrencies predate BTC, Bitcoin stands out as the first cryptocurrency to enter real-world use.
Who are the Founders of Bitcoin?
The original inventor of Bitcoin goes by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. As of 2021, the true identity of the person or organization behind the name remains unknown.
On October 31, 2008, Nakamoto published the Bitcoin White Paper, which detailed how the peer-to-peer, online currency could be implemented. They proposed the use of decentralized transaction ledgers, which are bundled (called “blocks”) and protected by cryptographic algorithms – the whole system will later be called “blockchain”.
Just two months later, on January 3, 2009, Nakamoto mined the first block on the Bitcoin network, known as the genesis block, thereby launching the world’s first cryptocurrency. When Bitcoin first appeared, the price was $0, and most Bitcoins were earned through mining, which only required a moderately powerful device (ie, a computer) and mining software.
The first commercial Bitcoin transaction took place on May 22, 2010, when programmer Laszlo Haniec traded 10,000 Bitcoins for two pizzas. At today’s mid-September 2021 bitcoin price, those pizzas would be worth $478 million. The event is now known as Bitcoin Pizza Day. Bitcoin was first traded in July 2010, and at that time the price of Bitcoin ranged from $0.0008 to $0.08.
However, Nakamoto was the original inventor of Bitcoin, as well as the author of its first implementation, but the management of the network’s signaling keys and code repository was transferred to Gavin Andresen, who later became the lead developer of the Bitcoin Foundation. Over the years, numerous people have contributed to improving cryptocurrency software by patching vulnerabilities and adding new features.
The Bitcoin source code repository on GitHub lists over 750 contributors, including Vladimir J. van der Laan, Marco Falke, Peter Vuille, Gavin Andresen, Jonas Schnelly and others.
Bitcoin (BTC) Price Prediction
How has Bitcoin Technology Evolved?
A hard fork is a radical protocol change that invalidates previously invalidated blocks/transactions, thus requiring all users to update. For example, if users A and B disagree about whether an incoming transaction is valid, a hard fork may make the transaction valid for users A and B, but not for user C.
A hard fork is a protocol upgrade that is not backward compatible. This means that each node (a computer connected to the Bitcoin network using a client that acts to confirm and transmit transactions) must activate the new blockchain with a hard fork and update it before rejecting any blocks or transactions from the old blockchain. The old blockchain will remain and may not be compatible with other new Bitcoin clients, but will continue to accept transactions.
A soft fork is a change to the Bitcoin protocol that only invalidates previously valid blocks/transactions. Soft forks are backward compatible, as old nodes will accept new blocks as valid. This type of fork only requires most miners to update to implement the new rules.
Some examples of popular cryptocurrencies affected by hard forks include the Bitcoin hard fork that created Bitcoin Cash and the Ethereum hard fork that created Ethereum Classic.
Bitcoin Cash has been hard-forked since its inception with the creation of Bitcoin SV. Read about the differences between Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV here.
What is Taproot?
Taproot is a soft fork of BIP 340, 341, and 342 that aims to improve blockchain scalability, efficiency, and privacy by introducing several new features.
Two major changes are the introduction of Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees (MAST) and Schnorr Signature. MAST introduces a condition that allows the sender and receiver of a transaction to settle their payments together. Schnorr Signature allows users to combine multiple signatures into a single transaction. As a result, multi-signature transactions appear to be the same or more complex than regular transactions. With the introduction of this new address type, users can save on transaction fees because complex transactions appear as simple, single-signature transactions.
Although HODLers likely won’t notice the big impact, Taproot could be a key milestone in equipping the network with smart contract functionality. In particular, Schnorr Signatures will lay the foundation for more complex applications to be built on top of existing blockchains as users begin to migrate primarily to Taproot addresses.
If adopted by users, Taproot could in the long run lead the network to develop a Defi ecosystem that will compete with other blockchain systems like Ethereum.
What is Lightning Network?
The Lightning Network is an off-chain, layered payment protocol that operates two-way payment channels, allowing for instant matching and instant transfers. It enables private, high volume and secure transactions between two parties. The Lightning Network scales transaction capacity without incurring transaction or intervention costs on the underlying blockchain.
How Much is a Bitcoin?
The current value of Bitcoin is constantly moving day in and day out. It is truly a global asset. From when the coin was less than a cent, BTC has gone up by thousands of percent between the numbers you mentioned above. The prices of all cryptocurrencies are quite volatile, meaning that anyone’s understanding of how much Bitcoin is worth will change by the minute.
However, different countries and exchanges display different prices, and understanding how much Bitcoin is worth depends on one’s location.
Is Bitcoin Political?
Bitcoin is becoming more political by the day, especially after El Salvador recognized it as legal tender. The President of the country, Naib Bukele, announced and implemented this decision almost single-handedly, ignoring the criticism of his own citizens, the Bank of England, the IMF, Vitalik Buterin and many other organizations.
Since the adoption of the Bitcoin Law in September 2021, Bukele has announced plans to build a Bitcoin city based entirely on geothermal Bitcoin mining.
Mexico, Russia and other countries are rumored to be in the running to accept Bitcoin as legal tender, but so far El Salvador has been left alone.
Where can You Buy Bitcoin (BTC)?
Bitcoin is almost synonymous with cryptocurrency in many ways, which means that you can buy bitcoin with fiat money and other cryptocurrencies on almost any crypto exchange. Some of the main markets where you can trade BTC are:
- Coinbase Pro
- OK Ex
- Huobi Global
If you’re new to crypto, learn how to get started buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with LeeaAPK.