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Bitcoin Wiki now has 5,058 articles in English.
|What is Bitcoin?|
| Bitcoin is a decentralized electronic cryptocurrency created in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto. “Decentralized” here means that Bitcoin has no central servers for transaction processing or storage of funds. Bitcoin emission is limited; no more than 21 million coins will ever be issued. According to calculations, Bitcoin production will end in 2140.
Bitcoin transactions and emissions are regulated by an extensive peer-to-peer network. Bitcoin uses a distributed public universal database, spread through a decentralized peer-to-peer network. The network uses digital signatures and is supported by a proof-of-work protocol to ensure security and legitimacy of funds in use.
To guarantee that a third-party cannot spend a user's bitcoins by issuing false transactions in their name, Bitcoin uses public key cryptography. This is a system of digital signatures, in which each person has one or more addresses or wallets, each with an associated pair of public and private keys. A user can sign a transaction with their private key, and the rest of the peers in the network can validate the signature using that user’s public key.
Bitcoin is the most widespread cryptocurrency. Its total market value is over $171 billion. One can exchange, buy or sell Bitcoins on many sites. Despite the fact that using Bitcoin does not formally require user identification, the currency is not completely anonymous.
|Blockchain - the technology of the future|
| Blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. It acts as a distributed public ledger. Each block typically contains a hash pointer which links it to a previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. They are typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all previous blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority (51%).
Blockchains are secure by design, and are an example of a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance. Blockchains have achieved decentralized consensus. This makes them potentially suitable for the recording of events, medical records, identity management, transaction processing, documenting provenance, food traceability, and kinds of other record management.
The first blockchain was conceptualised in 2008 by an anonymous person or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto, and implemented in 2009 as the public ledger for all bitcoin transactions. The inclusion of blockchain in the Bitcoin system made it the first digital currency to solve the double spending problem without resorting to a trusted authority or central server. Blockchain is the main innovation of Bitcoin.
|Mining or how to earn coins|
| Mining is the process of adding transaction records to Bitcoin's public ledger, that is, its blockchain. A "mining rig" is (a colloquial metaphor for) a single computer system that performs the necessary computations for mining. Bitcoin nodes refer to the blockchain to distinguish legitimate Bitcoin transactions from attempts to re-spend coins that have already been spent elsewhere.
Mining is intentionally designed to be resource-intensive and difficult so that the number of blocks found each day by miners remains steady. Individual blocks must contain proof of work to be considered valid. This proof-of-work is verified by other Bitcoin nodes each time they receive a block. Bitcoin uses the hashcash proof-of-work function.
Bitcoins are the best crytpocurrency for ensuring anonymity during transactions. After mining coins, they can be used only after getting 100 network confirmations.
The issuing of bitcoins is called mining because, like the mining of gold or other naturally limited resources, it slowly and painstakingly makes new currency available until it runs out.
|Initial Coin Offering (ICO)|
| ICO (Initial Coin Offering) ICOs Initial coin offerings – also called token sales or crowdsales – are an unergulated, fast, high-risk, and commonly Ethereum-based crowdfunding mechanism for early-stage digital asset ventures. In ICOs, funds are raised by offering investors cryptocurrency tokens which act as a kind of voucher that may be traded for some resource or special feature of the venture in the future (e.g. storage space, datasets, etc.), in exchange for legal tender or other cryptocurrencies. ICOs might also sell investors royalties or a right of ownership to the project instead of cryptocurrency.
ICOs are commonly compared to IPOs. However, there is a crucial distinction: in ICOs, investors purchase a piece of the ecosystem of a venture's future technology project or platform, whereas in IPOs, investors buy shares (i.e., they take a piece of equity) in the owership of an operating company, becoming owners of part of the company's cashflow and profits. Even so, some ICO campaigns do design their tokens to represent ownership in the company, effectivley turning their tokens into securities, which are subject to state regulations.
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