What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin (BTC) is a decentralized cryptocurrency payment system designed by Satoshi Nakamoto and released to the public in 2009. Bitcoins are actually just secret digital codes.
The seller uses a wallet to transfer the ownership of the coins to the buyer. Once the purchase is complete, the secret codes are now owned by the buyer and not the seller.
Bitcoin has been called “digital gold,” and for a good reason. To date, the total value of currency is close to $9 billion US.
What are Bitcoin wallets?
A Bitcoin wallet is simply an app, website, or device that manages Bitcoin private keys for the owner.
What is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency.
What is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions, made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, are recorded chronologically and publicly. A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions.
A global network of computers uses blockchain technology to jointly manage the database that records Bitcoin transactions. Bitcoin is managed by its network, and not any one central authority.
The blockchain network lives in a state of consensus that automatically checks in with itself every ten minutes. A kind of self-auditing ecosystem of a digital value, the network reconciles every transaction that happens in ten-minute intervals. Each group of these transactions is referred to as a “block”.
A network of computing “nodes” make up the blockchain. Each node gets a copy of the blockchain, which gets downloaded automatically upon joining the blockchain network.
Every node is an “administrator” of the blockchain, and joins the network voluntarily, however, each one has an incentive for participating in the network: the chance of winning Bitcoins.
Nodes are said to be “mining” Bitcoin, but the term is something of a misnomer. In fact, each one is competing to win Bitcoins by solving computational puzzles.
There are an estimated 1400 cryptocurrencies (exchangeable value tokens) at the time of this writing, as well as a range of other potential adaptations of the original blockchain concept active or in development.
Use Cases for the blockchain technology
Finance | Global Remittances
Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain have the potential to provide almost instant transfers of money from one country to another, removing intermediaries, regulation and high commissions in $450 billion of global money transfers.
For example, the BitPesa service, which is currently operating in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, developed a blockchain based global payment network which allows faster and much cheaper money transfer transactions than traditional payment systems.
Almost 40% of people in the world have no access to the global financial system due to inefficiencies which could be solved with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Check out Ripple, the leader in enterprise solutions for global remittance.