So, what actually are Bitcoins?
Bitcoin is actual currency that is digitized. According to Google, ‘a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.’ We have moved from phone calls to internet calls, from meeting rooms to Skype conferences and what not. Thus, Bitcoins it is a digital currency not having any physical form. In this century everything is getting digitized and currency got digitized too!
How did in came into existence?
The idea of bitcoins actually came to Santoshi Nakamoto. Nobody knows him and he lives in total anonymity. From his name, once can say he is a Japanese but his email ID is from Germany. He started all of this in the year of 2009 but then it was nowhere to be seen just after one year in 2010. He had his whole team working on Bitcoin software but after a while, they stopped hearing from him which resulted in tons of rumors and speculations about his real identity. The software he made namely ‘Bitcoin software’ was not available in Japanese language considering he is a Japanese. His identity is not known yet but some say that Santoshi Nakatomo was not even his real name. They believe that his name was just a mashup of popular Japanese companies — SAmsung TOSHIba NAKAmichi MOTOrola.
Why is Bitcoin different from the rest?
The very special thing abut Bitcoin is the absolute privacy it provides. The system allows you to transact money from here to there without any trace of it. There are no details as of why was the money transferred, how much, what time etc. The information will only be known to the person who receives the money and the one who sends the money. He made it a peer to peer network. Nakatmo was an absolute genius!
How big is the risk of counterfeiting?
The only risk related to Bitcoins was of double spending. Double spending is the technique in which the currency can be illegally copied and can be spent again and again countless times. Nakatmo came up with a simple yet effective solution by making a list of all the transaction’s that has happened with Bitcoins. So, whenever a person tries to spend a currency, it checks in the establish Bitcoins list whether that currency has been used before or not. Thus, saving us all form counterfeiting.
Do people even use it?
As of 6th February 2016, a total of 15.2 million bitcoins are in circulation out of the total 21 million. That sums upto $1,50,00,000. People are mad behind this and every single day, about 45,000 transactions are processed by Bitcoin network.
Who runs it and how to use it?
There is no big company or government involved in this. Bitcoins is solely run by a network of contributors and freedom enthusiasts, who donated their time and energy to this innovation. Bitcoins are all stored in wallets, digital wallets which are in turn kept in your computer or in a cloud storage online. You can even download and use bitcoins software to prevent someone from tracking you from your IP address.