Bitcoin, the star cryptocurrency
A Bitcoin (BTC) is a virtual monetary unit that is not subject to state control, thanks to a decentralized generation process. The payment system works with digital coins that can be stored offline and online in an electronic wallet, and transferred in peer-to-peer settlements.
Each owner authenticates himself or herself. Bitcoins are generated in a special mining procedure that is traceable within a blockchain. Every transaction involving BTCs is part of this unique counterfeit-proof sequence.
Buy digital currency – or become a currency miner
Instead of buying BTCs, interested parties can also mine them by using their computer to solve a complex Bitcoin math problem, approximately once every ten minutes.
The computer owner then receives a reward of new BTCs. At the same time, numerous mainframe computers work together in parallel to solve the complicated tasks.
Limited opportunity: Bitcoin speculation
The number of BTCs is limited to 21 million, set at the invention of the cryptocurrency by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Network protocol does not allow the limit to be exceeded.
The exchange value against government-controlled common currencies is regulated by supply and demand, as in any market. After all the 21 million BTCs have been generated, the digital coin could have a similar value to that of gold.
Already, it is possible to purchase consumer goods online using Bitcoins. However, experts do not currently foresee BTCs becoming the principal global currency for financial transactions.
The rise of the exchange rate of this world-known cryptorurrency is also worth to be mentioned.