Bitcoin is the virtual currency. It is not issued on paper, or by a state; no intermediary as a financial institution is needed. It travels beyond borders on the Internet. Its digital form is said to have been created in 2009 by a programmer under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. Recent developments have shed light on the fact that the Australian Craig Wright, claiming to be that computer scientist, has changed his mind by withdrawing the claims.
Information about bitcoin transactions indicates that users that own them may trade them via websites for monetary units like the dollar or the euro, or for services and goods.
The idea about bitcoin use is based on the public key that digital currency users have plus a private key for the individual PC or mobile. As all transactions are registered, a bitcoin is spent once only.
A new bitcoin is generated according to a program, and a "block" - a file - is received by the user. The blocks form the "block chain", which is the database on a global level. It is the medium, where all bitcoin transactions are recorded. At present days, when the bitcoin network has grown, earlier bitcoin "miners" obtain the currency more regularly.
Some traditional investors have been attracted by the benefits of using the virtual currency - low costs, for ex. - and have optimized their equipment to "mine" bitcoins. Bitcoins have influenced the electronic way of payment in a legitimate manner, hence the interest of some conventional vendors to embark on them.
Hackers, too, have targeted the bitcoin "wallet" - the bitcoin balance file - and thefts have currently been reported.
The anonymity prevailing in the bitcoin transactions drives the experts' concerns to issues like protection of consumers, tax policy, etc.; best practices, however, related to identity verification, or other specifics, need to be further analyzed and applied in line with the potential social value the currency may bring.
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