Bitcoin is a payment system invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the invention in 2008 and released it as open-source software in 2009. The system is peer-to-peer; users can transact directly without needing an intermediary. Transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called the block chain. The ledger uses its own unit of account, also called bitcoin. The system works without a central repository or single administrator, which has led the US Treasury to categorize it as a decentralized virtual currency. Bitcoin is often called the first cryptocurrency, although prior systems existed. Bitcoin is more correctly described as the first decentralized digital currency. It is the largest of its kind in terms of total market value.Bitcoins are created as a reward for payment processing work in which users offer their computing power to verify and record payments into a public ledger. This activity is called mining and the miners are rewarded with transaction fees and newly created bitcoins. Besides mining, bitcoins can be obtained in exchange for different currencies, products, and services. Users can send and receive bitcoins for an optional transaction fee.Bitcoin as a form of payment for products and services has grown, and merchants have an incentive to accept it because fees are lower than the 2–3% typically imposed by credit card processors. Unlike credit cards, any fees are paid by the purchaser, not the vendor. The European Banking Authority and other sources have warned that bitcoin users are not protected by refund rights or chargebacks. Despite a big increase in the number of merchants accepting bitcoin, the cryptocurrency doesn’t have much momentum in retail transactions.The use of bitcoin by criminals has attracted the attention of financial regulators, legislative bodies, law enforcement, and media. Criminal activities are primarily centered around black markets and theft, though officials in countries such as the United States also recognize that bitcoin can provide legitimate financial services.
You may also like
About the author
Information to enrich your life.
WELCOME TO RICHTOPIA
- 1,933,677 all-time users
WHAT IS RICHTOPIA?
WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP
- Women Leaders Top 250: From Melinda Gates to Michelle Obama, These Are the Most Influential Women in the World
- Top 100 Blockchain Organisations: From CoinDesk to BitPay, These Are the Most Influential Organisations in the Distributed Ledger Space
- Geopolitics Top 100: From George Freidman to Condoleezza Rice, These Are the Most Influential Geopolitics Experts in the World
- Economists Top 100: From Paul Krugman to Michael Porter, These Are the Most Influential Economists in the World
- Top 100 Blockchain Insiders: From Marc Andreessen to Vitalik Buterin, These Are the Most Influential People in the Crypto Sphere
- 11 Amazing Examples of Disruptive Technology
- Alibaba vs. Tencent: Lessons From Two Prolific Chinese Companies
- Top 20 Blockchain Books & Whitepapers
- Review of the 6 Major Blockchain Protocols