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BTC

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Index

$ 51,354.76 Ƀ 1.00000000
  • MarketCap
    $ 1,008,807,039,893
  • Volume
    $ 14,239,916,546
  • Change
    -0.73%
bitcoinBitcoin
$ 51,354.76
$ 51,354.76
0.73%
47.390,31
BTC
Bitcoin (BTC)
$ 51,354.76
BTC
Bitcoin (BTC)
author
author
With 25+ years of financial marketing experience, Niki has an extensive knowledge of the forex, fintech, stocks and cryptocurrency sectors. Niki is a founder and director at the Contentworks agency.
By Niki Nikolaou
author
With 25+ years of financial marketing experience, Niki has an extensive knowledge of the forex, fintech, stocks and cryptocurrency sectors. Niki is a founder and director at the Contentworks agency.
on December 27, 2022 | 3 min
Updated on Dec 04, 2023

Overview: What is Bitcoin (BTC)?

Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital currency based on blockchain, a technology that relies on its network of users to verify and validate transactions in a decentralised manner. All transactions are anonymous, immutable, and traceable in the form of records in a digital ledger that is shared among all nodes on the network. This peer-to-peer cash system eliminates the need for a central controlling authority from the payments ecosystem, making it trustless.

 

How Did Bitcoin Start?

Bitcoin was introduced as a trustless system of peer-to-peer remittance to remove all third-party involvement. This means no banks or governments need to be involved even for cross-border transactions.

 

The genesis block of Bitcoin has the message “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” This hints at the reason for the creation of Bitcoin, which is to transfer the ownership and control of money to the owner, which fiat currency doesn’t do. Although it could be an innocent move to record the date within the first block, it puts the need for a trustless financial system into perspective.

 

What Makes Bitcoin (BTC) Unique?

To begin with, Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency. It has characteristics in addition to the core properties that make a currency eligible to function as money:

  • There is a limited supply, with a hard cap of 21 million of coins. However, anyone can change this by submitting a BIP (Bitcoin improvement proposal) with a reason and see it through by getting 95% consensus.
  • It treats everyone equally, whether it’s an individual, a company, or a financial institution. All transactions go through the same process.
  • It is open source and global by default.
  • It ensures anonymity of the owners.

 

How Does Bitcoin Work?

Owners store their Bitcoin in digital wallets secured with private keys that are accessible only to them. All the transactions are validated by network users called nodes and recorded on a block. Thus, the Bitcoin blockchain has a record of all transactions since its origin.

A complex algorithm determines who validates a transaction, who gets the rights to register it on a block, and who introduces a completed block to the network to append to the chain. The transacting parties pay a small amount to the validators for their service in BTC.

 

How is the Price of Bitcoin Determined?

Bitcoin gets value from its scarcity and security. There has been no breach of security on the Bitcoin blockchain since its launch.

Like any other asset, Bitcoin’s price depends on its supply and demand in the market. These are a function of the following factors:

  • Regulations, such as taxation on earnings or acceptance as a legal tender, increase people’s trust and boost crypto prices. For instance, El Salvador and the Central African Republic accepting Bitcoin as legal tender contributed significantly to market sentiment.
  • Market competition causes a pullback, as new crypto coins allow investors to diversify.
  • News of inflation could trigger Bitcoin purchases, as cryptos are considered by some as a hedge against rising prices.

 

What is Bitcoin Mining?

Bitcoin is mined to bring new coins into circulation, check counterfeiting and double-spending, and maintain the decentralised ledger.

Bitcoin miners compete to solve complex encrypted puzzles on their computer to verify blocks of transactions. They need high-speed and advanced technology to do so. The process is known as proof-of-work. The winner updates the shared ledger and earns the ‘mined’ Bitcoins as a reward. As of now, 6.25 coins are mined per block added. This number is halved every 4 years. The next halving is scheduled for 2024, which will reduce the mining reward to 3.125 coins.

 

Where Can You Buy Bitcoin (BTC)?

If you are interested in owning Bitcoins, you can get them by:

  • Mining
  • Accepting it as payment for goods or services provided
  • Purchasing from a crypto exchange

For all three, you need a digital wallet to address the transactions. Although mining is exciting, it involves huge expenditure in terms of technology infrastructure. A more accessible approach might be to register on a trusted cryptocurrency exchange and buy Bitcoin in exchange for fiat. The good news is that you can buy Bitcoin in fractions, one is comprised of 100 million Satoshis! The higher splitting capability is a key benefit of cryptos being digital and not physical money.

author
About Niki Nikolaou
With 25+ years of financial marketing experience, Niki has an extensive knowledge of the forex, fintech, stocks and cryptocurrency sectors. Niki is a founder and director at the Contentworks agency.
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