Bitcoin (BTC)

Limited to 21 million coins, bitcoin is the first and most famous of cryptocurrencies and regarded as the digital gold standard.


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Key Facts

  • By June 2018, around 80% of bitcoin had been mined or in circulation. Mining of bitcoin is scheduled to stop around 2140.
  • The true identity of bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto is unknown, although much speculation has surrounded who he, she or they may be.
  • Bitcoin is a decentralised network, without a formal leader.
  • The first bitcoin transaction was between Satoshi Nakamoto and Hal Finney in January 2009. Hal Finney passed away in 2014 upon which he was cryopreserved.
  • The blockchain is publicly auditable and viewable. Whilst it is possible to analyse the transaction flow, it is not necessarily possible to connect the real world identity with wallet addresses. This makes bitcoin pseudonymous rather than anonymous.
  • Bitcoin transactions are irreversible (be really sure you want to press send!) and as instant as sending email.
  • Bitcoin is permissionless: it is software which can be accessed or downloaded for free. You don’t need to ask anyone to do this.
  • The amount of bitcoin in circulation halves every four years. This makes bitcoin deflationary, as the supply is fixed and reducing. The scarcity to bitcoin is why its called digital gold.
  • Bitcoin was the first application of blockchain. Subsequently, other cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications have come into existence.
  • You don’t have to buy a whole bitcoin, each bitcoin is divisible down to one hundred millionth, known as a Satoshi.
  • Bitcoin is digital, but physical coins have been created called Casascius coins. These are highly sought after.

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