coinmarketcap, The Bitcoin price is $27,496.66, a change of -0.49% over the past 24 hours as of 11:11 p.m. The recent price action in Bitcoin left the tokens market capitalization at $532,158,312,930.02. So far this year, Bitcoin has a change of 67.11%. Bitcoin is classified as a Currency under CoinDesks Digital Asset Classification Standard (DACS).
Bitcoin is the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency – a digital asset that uses public-key cryptography to record, sign. And send transactions over the Bitcoin blockchain – all done without the oversight of a central authority.
The Bitcoin network (with an upper-case “B”) was launched in January 2009 by. An anonymous computer programmer or group of programmers under the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto.” The network is a peer-to-peer electronic payment system that uses a cryptocurrency called bitcoin (lowercase “b”) to transfer value over the internet or act as a store of value like gold and silver.
Each bitcoin comprises 100 million satoshis (the minor units of bitcoin), making individual bitcoin divisible up to eight decimal places. That means anyone can purchase a fraction of a bitcoin with as little as one U.S. dollar.
What Is Bitcoin #BTC]?
Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency initially described in a 2008 whitepaper by a person, or group of people, using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. It was launched soon after, in January 2009.
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer online currency, meaning that all transactions. Happen directly between equal, independent network participants without any intermediary permitting or facilitating them. Bitcoin was created, according to Nakamoto’s own words, to allow “online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”
Some concepts for a similar type of decentralized electronic currency precede BTC, but Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency to come into actual use.
How does Bitcoin work?
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are like the email of the financial world. The currency doesn’t exist physically, and the coin does. Is transacted directly between the sender and the receiver without banking intermediaries to facilitate the transaction. Everything is done publicly through a transparent, immutable, distributed ledger technology called a blockchain.
- Here are the main features of blockchain technology:
- Bitcoin transactions are recorded on a public, distributed ledger known as a “blockchain” that anyone can download and help maintain.
- Transactions are sent directly from the sender to the receiver without any intermediaries.
- Holders who store their Bitcoin have complete control over it. It cannot be accessed without the holder’s cryptographic key.
- Bitcoin doesn’t exist in a physical form.
- Bitcoin has a fixed supply of 21 million. No more Bitcoin can be created, and units of Bitcoin cannot be destroyed.
- Bitcoin users send and receive coins over the network by inputting the public-key information attached to each person’s digital wallet.
A fee is attached to each transaction to incentivize the distributed network of people verifying Bitcoin transactions (miners). The price is awarded to whichever miner adds the transaction to a new block. Prices work on a first-price auction system, where the higher the fee. For the transaction, the more likely a miner will process that transaction first.
Every Bitcoin transaction has to be permanently committed to the blockchain ledger through a process called “mining.” Bitcoin mining refers to the process where miners compete using specialized computer equipment known. As application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips to unlock the next block in the chain.
Unlocking blocks work as follows:
- Crypto mining uses a system called cryptographic hashing. This function takes any input (messages, words, or data) into a fixed-length alphanumeric code known as a “hash.”
- Each input creates a unique hash, and predicting what inputs will make specific soups is almost impossible. Even changing one input character will result in a different fixed-length code.
- Each new block has a value called a “target hash.” To win the right to fill the next block, miners need to produce a hash lower than or equal to the numeric value of the ‘target’ hash. Since hashes are entirely random, it’s just a matter of trial and error until one miner is successful.
This method of requiring miners to use machines and spend time and energy trying to achieve something. Is a proof-of-work system designed to deter malicious agents from spamming or disrupting the network?
Whoever successfully unlocks the next block is rewarded with a set number. Of bitcoin, known as “block rewards,” and gets to add several transactions to the new partnership. They also earn any transaction fees attached to the transactions they add to the new block. A new block is discovered roughly once every 10 minutes.
Bitcoin block rewards decrease over time. Every 210,000 blocks, or about once every four years, the number of bitcoin received from each block reward is halved to gradually reduce the number of bitcoin entering the space over time. As of 2021, miners receive 6.25 bitcoins each time they mine a new block. The next bitcoin halving is expected to occur in 2024 and will see bitcoin block rewards drop to 3.125 bitcoins per block. As the supply of new bitcoin entering the market gets smaller. It will make buying bitcoin more competitive – assuming demand for bitcoin remains high.
Who Are the Founders of Bitcoin?
Bitcoin’s original inventor is known under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. As of 2021, the true identity of the person or organization behind the alias remains unknown.
On October 31, 2008, Nakamoto published Bitcoin’s whitepaper, which described how a peer-to-peer, online currency could be implemented. They proposed to use a decentralized ledger of transactions packaged. In batches (called “blocks”) and secured by cryptographic algorithms — the whole system would later be dubbed “blockchain.”
Just two months later, on January 3, 2009, Nakamoto mined the first block. On the Bitcoin network, the genesis block, thus launching the world’s first cryptocurrency. Bitcoin price was $0 when first introduced, and most Bitcoins were obtained via mining, which only required moderately powerful devices (e.g., PCs) and mining software. The first known Bitcoin commercial transaction occurred on May 22, 2010, when programmer Laszlo Hanyecz traded 10,000 Bitcoins for two pizzas. At Bitcoin price today in mid-September 2021, those pizzas would be worth an astonishing $478 million. This event is now known as “Bitcoin Pizza Day.” In July 2010, Bitcoin started trading, with the price ranging from $0.0008 to $0.08 at that time.
However, while Nakamoto was the original inventor of Bitcoin and the author of its very first implementation. He handed the network alert key and control of the code repository to Gavin Andresen, who later became the lead developer at the Bitcoin Foundation. Over the years, many people have contributed to improving the cryptocurrency’s software by patching vulnerabilities and adding new features.
Bitcoin’s source code repository on GitHub lists more than 750 contributors, some of them. The key ones being Wladimir J. van der Laan, Marco Falke, Pieter Wuille, Gavin Andresen, Jonas Schnelli, and others.
What Makes Bitcoin Unique?
Bitcoin’s most unique advantage comes from being the very first cryptocurrency to appear on the market.
It has created a global community and given birth to an entirely new industry. Of millions of enthusiasts who develop, invest in, trade, and use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies daily. The emergence of the first cryptocurrency has created a conceptual and technological basis that subsequently inspired the development of thousands of competing projects.
The entire cryptocurrency market — now worth more than $2 trillion — is based on the idea realized by Bitcoin: money that can be sent and received by anyone, anywhere in the world, without reliance on trusted intermediaries, such as banks and financial services companies.
Thanks to its pioneering nature, BTC remains at the top of this energetic market after over a decade Even after. Bitcoin has lost its undisputed dominance, it remains the most prominent cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization that surpassed the $1 trillion mark in 2021, after Bitcoin’s price hit an all-time high of $64,863.10 on April 14, 2021. This is mainly owing to growing institutional interest in Bitcoin. And the ubiquitous platforms that provide use cases for BTC: wallets, exchanges, payment services, online games, and more.
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How Much Bitcoin Is in Circulation?
Its software limits Bitcoin’s total supply and will never exceed 21,000,000 coins. New coins are created during the process known as “mining.” As transactions are relayed across the network, miners pick them up and package them into blocks protected by complex cryptographic calculations.
As compensation for spending their computational resources, the miners receive rewards for every block they successfully add to the blockchain. At the moment of Bitcoin’s launch, the prize was 50 bitcoins per block: this number gets halved with every 210,000 new blocks mined — which takes the network roughly four years. As of 2020, the block reward has been halved three times and comprises 6.25 bitcoins.
Bitcoin has yet to be pre-mined, meaning that no coinmarketcap have been mined and distributed between the founders before it became available to the public. However, during the first few years of BTC’s existence, the competition between miners was relatively low, allowing the earliest network participants to accumulate significant amounts of coins via regular mining: Satoshi Nakamoto alone is believed to own over a million Bitcoin.
Mining Bitcoins can be very profitable for miners, depending on the current hash rate and the price of Bitcoin. While mining Bitcoins is complex, we discuss how long it takes to mine one Bitcoin on CoinMarketCap Alexandria — as we wrote above, mining Bitcoin is best understood as how long it takes mine one block, as opposed to one Bitcoin. As of mid-September 2021, the Bitcoin mining reward is capped at 6.25 BTC after the 2020 halving, which is roughly $299,200 in Bitcoin price today.
How Is the Bitcoin Network Secured?
Bitcoin is secured with the SHA-256 algorithm, which belongs to the SHA-2 family of hashing algorithms, which is also used by its fork Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and several other cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin Energy Consumption
Over the past few decades, consumers have become more curious about their energy consumption and personal effects on climate change. When news stories started swirling regarding the possible adverse effects of Bitcoin’s energy consumption, many became concerned about Bitcoin and criticized this energy usage. A report found that each Bitcoin transaction takes 1,173 KW hours of electricity, which can “power the typical American home for six weeks.” Another report calculates that the energy required by Bitcoin annually is more than the annual hourly energy usage of Finland, a country with a population of 5.5 million.
The news has produced commentary from tech entrepreneurs, environmental activists, and political leaders alike. In May 2021, Tesla CEO Elon Musk even stated that Tesla would no longer accept cryptocurrency as payment due to his concern regarding its environmental footprint. Though many of these individuals have condemned this issue and moved on, some have prompted solutions: how do we make Bitcoin more energy efficient? Others have taken the defensive position, stating that the Bitcoin energy problem may be exaggerated.
At present, miners are heavily reliant on renewable energy sources, with estimates suggesting that Bitcoin’s use of renewable energy may span anywhere from 40-75%. However, to this point, critics claim that increasing Bitcoin’s renewable energy usage will take away from solar sources powering other sectors and industries like hospitals, factories, or homes. The Bitcoin mining community also attests that the expansion of mining can help lead to the construction of new solar and wind farms.
Gold and banking sector?
Furthermore, some who defend Bitcoin argue that the gold and banking sector consumes twice as much energy as Bitcoin, criticizing Bitcoin’s energy consumption a nonstarter. Moreover, Bitcoin’s energy consumption can easily be tracked and traced, which the same cannot be said of the other two sectors. Those who defend Bitcoin also note that the complex validation process creates a more secure transaction system, which justifies the energy usage.
Another point that Bitcoin proponents make is that the energy usage required by coinmarketcap is all-inclusive such that it encompasses the process of creating, securing, using, and transporting Bitcoin. Whereas with other financial sectors, this is not the case. For example, when calculating the carbon footprint of a payment processing system like Visa, they fail to calculate the energy required to print money or power ATMs, smartphones, bank branches, and security vehicles, among other components in the payment processing and banking supply chain.
What exactly are governments and nonprofits doing to reduce Bitcoin energy consumption? Earlier this year in the U.S., a congressional hearing was held where politicians and tech figures discussed the future of crypto mining in the U.S., explicitly highlighting their concerns regarding fossil fuel consumption. Leaders also discussed the current debate surrounding the coal-to-crypto trend, particularly regarding the number of coal plants in New York and Pennsylvania that are in the process of being repurposed into mining farms.
Aside from congressional hearings, private-sector crypto initiatives are dedicated to solving environmental issues, such as the Crypto Climate Accord and Bitcoin Mining Council. The Crypto Climate Accord proposes a plan to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Due to the innovative potential of Bitcoin, it is reasonable to believe that such grand objectives may be achieved.
What Is Bitcoin’s Role as a Store of Value?
Bitcoin is the first decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency. One of its most important functions is that it is used as a decentralized store of value. In other words, it provides for ownership rights as a physical asset or as a unit of account. However, the latter store-of-value function has been debated. Many crypto enthusiasts and economists believe that high-scale adoption of the top currency will lead us to a new modern financial world where transaction amounts will be denominated in smaller units.
The minor units of Bitcoin, 0.00000001 BTC, are called Satoshis (or Sats in short), in a nod to the pseudonymous creator. At Bitcoin price now, 1 Satoshi is equivalent to roughly $0.00048.
The top crypto is considered a store of value, like gold, for many — rather than a currency. This idea of the first cryptocurrency as a store of value instead of a payment method means that many people buy the crypto and hold onto it long-term (or HODL) rather than spending it on items as you would typically spend a dollar — treating it as digital gold.
The most popular wallets for cryptocurrency include both hot and cold wallets. Cryptocurrency wallets vary from hot wallets and cold wallets. Hot wallets can be connected to the web, while cold wallets are used to keep large amounts of coinmarketcap outside the internet.
Some of the top crypto cold wallets are Trezor, Ledger, and CoolBitX. Some top crypto hot wallets include Exodus, Electrum, and Mycelium.
Still, trying to decide which wallet to use? Check out CoinMarketCap Alexandria’s guide on the top cold wallets of 2021 and top hot wallets of 2021.
How Is Bitcoin’s Technology Upgraded?
A hard fork is a radical change to the protocol that makes previously invalid blocks/transactions valid and therefore requires all users to upgrade. For example, if users A and B disagree on whether an incoming transaction is good, a hard fork could make the transaction valid to users A and B but not to user C.
A hard fork is a protocol upgrade that is not backward compatible. This means every node (computer connected to the Bitcoin network using a client that verifies and relays transactions) needs. To upgrade before the new blockchain with the hard fork activates and rejects any blocks or transactions from the old blockchain. The old blockchain will continue to exist and accept transactions, although it may be incompatible with other newer Bitcoin clients.
A soft fork is a change to the coinmarketcap protocol wherein only previously valid blocks/transactions are made invalid. Since old nodes will recognize the new blocks as accurate, a soft fork is backward-compatible. This fork requires only most miners to upgrade to enforce the new rules.
Some examples of prominent cryptocurrencies that have undergone hard forks. Are Bitcoin’s hard fork, which resulted in Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum’s hard fork, which resulted in Ethereum Classic.
Bitcoin Cash has been hard forked since its original forking with the creation of Bitcoin SV. Read more about the difference between Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV here.
What Is Taproot?
Taproot is a soft fork that bundles BIP 340, 341, and 342 and aims to improve the blockchain’s scalability, efficiency, and privacy by introducing several new features.
The two significant changes are the introduction of the Merkelized Abstract Syntax Tree (MAST) and the Schnorr Signature. MAST introduces a condition allowing the sender and recipient of a transaction to sign off on its settlement together. Schnorr Signature will enable users to aggregate several signatures for a single transaction. This results in multi-signature transactions that look the same as regular or more complex ones. By introducing this new address type, users can save on transaction fees, as even complex transactions look like simple, single-signature ones.
Although HODLers will probably not notice a significant impact, Taproot could become a pivotal milestone to equipping the network with smart contract functionality In particular, Schnorr Signatures would lay the foundation for more complex applications to be built on top of the existing blockchain as users start switching to Taproot addresses primarily. If users adopt, Taproot could result in the network developing its own DeFi ecosystem that rivals those of alternative blockchains like Ethereum.
What Is the Lightning Network?
The Lightning Network is an off-chain, layered payment protocol that operates bidirectional payment channels, which allows instantaneous transfer with instant reconciliation. It enables private, high-volume, and trustless transactions between any two parties. The Lightning Network scales transaction capacity without incurring the costs associated with transactions and interventions on the underlying blockchain.
Who Are the Largest Corporate Holders of Bitcoin?
A few years ago, the idea that a publicly traded company might hold coinmarketcap. On its balance sheets seemed highly laughable. The flagship cryptocurrency was considered to be too volatile to be adopted by any serious business. Many top investors, including Warren Buffett, labeled the asset a “bubble waiting to pop.”
This negative sentiment has been broken, with several corporate behemoths buying up Bitcoin since 2020. In particular, business intelligence firm MicroStrategy set the pace after it bought $425 million worth of Bitcoin in August and September 2020. Since then, many others have followed suit, including EV manufacturer Tesla.
MicroStrategy has by far the most significant Bitcoin portfolio held by any publicly-traded company. The business analytics platform has adopted Bitcoin as its primary reserve asset, aggressively buying the cryptocurrency through 2021 and 2022. As of August 30, 2022, the company had 129,699 Bitcoin in its reserve, equivalent to just over $2.5 billion.
Other top corporate holders include Marathon Digital Holdings, with 10,054 BTC, Coinbase (9,000), Square Inc. (8,027), and Hut 8 Mining Corp. (7,078).
Is Bitcoin Political?
Bitcoin is becoming more political today, particularly after El Salvador began accepting the currency as legal tender. The country’s president, Nayib Bukele, announced and implemented the decision almost unilaterally, dismissing criticism from it. His citizens, the Bank of England, the IMF, Vitalik Buterin, and many others. Since the Bitcoin legal tender law was passed in September 2021, Bukele has also announced plans to build Bitcoin City, a city entirely based on mining coinmarketcap with geothermal energy from volcanoes.
Countries like Mexico, Russia, and others have also been rumored to be candidates to accept Bitcoin as legal tender, but thus far, El Salvador stands alone.
On the flip side, countries like China have moved to heavily clamp down on Bitcoin mining and trading activities. In May 2021, the Chinese government declared all crypto-related transactions illegal. This was followed by a heavy crackdown on Bitcoin mining operations, forcing many crypto-related businesses to flee to friendlier regions.
Surprisingly, the anti-crypto stance of the Chinese government has done little to stop the industry. According to the University of Cambridge data, China is now the second-biggest contributor to Bitcoin’s global hash rate, only behind the United States.
How Much Is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin’s current valuation is constantly moving, all day, every day. It is a truly global asset. From a start of under one cent per coinmarketcap, BTC has risen by thousands of percent to the above numbers. The prices of all cryptocurrencies are quite volatile, meaning that anyone’s understanding of how much Bitcoin is will change by the minute. However, there are times when different countries and exchanges show different prices, and understanding how much Bitcoin is will be a function of a person’s location.
Where Can You Buy Bitcoin #BTC]?
Bitcoin is, in many regards, almost synonymous with cryptocurrency, which means you can buy Bitcoin on virtually every crypto exchange — both for fiat money and other cryptocurrencies. Some of the main markets where BTC trading is available are:
- Coinbase Pro
- Huobi Global
If you are new to crypto, use CoinMarketCap’s educational portal — Alexandria — to learn how to start buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.