What is Bitcoin?
Satoshi Nakamoto wrote the original Bitcoin code and released it under an MIT open source license in 2009. Today it is the first successful decentralized digital currency. It is mathematically limited to issue only twenty-one million bitcoins and this can never be altered. Bitcoin is not like any government issued (fiat) currency. It cannot be randomly and easily inflated, manipulated, counterfeited, frozen or destroyed by an external party. With a bitcoin wallet you can send, receive and otherwise transact anywhere in the world without permission or the need for a bank account or credit history. With Bitcoin, your money is completely back in your control. It creates unrestricted financial freedom for everyone.
The Bitcoin market and blockchain ecosystem is constantly changing and evolving, here is the latest depiction of it in one image.
Credit: RedChip Companies, Inc.
How to choose a Bitcoin Wallet
Your bitcoin wallet is an application that stores, sends and receives bitcoins and it’s all you need to use bitcoin. There are many different bitcoin software and hardware wallets available. When choosing a wallet you need to decide whether you want to control and hold your own bitcoins or if you would prefer for someone else to do this for you. You are not restricted to one wallet and can have as many as you like. Hardware wallets tend to be more safe than software wallets, with mobile wallets being arguably the least secure way to store bitcoins. While we cannot guarantee the security of a bitcoin wallet, here are a few links to some of the more popular hardware and desktop software wallets which we use ourselves: Software (hot) wallets:
How to buy Bitcoin
Bitcoin can be bought from a variety of sources. You can most easily buy bitcoin online using a bitcoin exchange or brokerage service fiat currency or a credit card. Bitcoin exchanges most frequently only operate in only specific countries and with specific fiat currency & BTC exchange pairs. Look for a bitcoin exchange that is operating in your country and in your desired currency before creating an account. You can also buy or sell your bitcoin back to an exchange at the current market price on the exchange or you can sell large amounts of bitcoin over-the-counter (OTC) with the assistance of the largest exchanges. Private in-person bitcoin sales and purchases can be unsafe and are not encouraged for new users. Special 2-way bitcoin ATMs can also be a convenient way to buy & sell bitcoin in many locations worldwide. While we cannot guarantee the safety & security of your bitcoins at an exchange, here are a few links to some of the more widely used exchanges that have not lost bitcoin to hackers and that we use ourselves:
Bitcoin Core is the current reference client which runs on more than 80% of the Bitcoin network. It is the third bitcoin client and was developed by Wladimir van der Laan based on the original reference code of Satoshi Nakamoto. From the Bitcoin Core website: “Bitcoin Core is programmed to decide which block chain contains valid transactions. The users of Bitcoin Core only accept transactions for that block chain, making it the Bitcoin block chain that everyone else wants to use. It is these users who keep Bitcoin decentralized. They individually run their own Bitcoin Core full nodes, and each of those full nodes separately follows the exact same rules to decide which block chain is valid. There’s no voting or other corruptible process involved: there’s just individual software following identical rules—”math”—to evaluate identical blocks and coming to identical conclusions about which block chain is valid. This shared agreement (called consensus) allows people like you to only accept valid bitcoins, enforcing Bitcoin’s rules against even the most powerful miners.” Find out more about Bitcoin Core
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