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20 070 377 454 €
18 766 700 BTC
21 000 000 BTC
Bitcoin (BTC) was created by a person or group of people under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The BTC white paper was published on the 31st October 2008. The first BTC block, the ‘Genesis Block’ was mined on the 3rd January 2009. Bitcoin was created to allow its users to make direct payments without going through a financial institution like a bank. Bitcoin’s total supply is limited to 21 million BTC, and its governance model is proof-of-work. The halving, or halvening, refers to the event that cuts the block reward that miners earn in half. It occurs every 210,000 mined blocks, or about once every four years.
Created by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin is the most famous cryptocurrency in the world, and also the most valuable. It has established itself as a precursor of virtual currency because it is the flagship and pioneering cryptocurrency in this emerging crypto age. No other cryptocurrency can boast the same market cap or fame that Bitcoin has acquired.
It is the most popular investment in the world of cryptocurrency, on the one hand because of its rarity (only 21 million will ever be created) but on the other hand, thanks to its pioneer status which gives it a huge amount of influence in the market.
Although this digital currency had at first the reputation of being used by criminals only, now this image has all but disappeared – even institutional actors are beginning to trust it. Bitcoin is helping investors of all kinds to diversify their investment portfolio and, at the same time, their risk. It is potentially the best way to gain exposure to the new and fascinating world of cryptocurrencies.
Since 2008, Bitcoin has aimed to facilitate international capital exchanges without intermediaries, allowing for faster and more secure transactions thanks to its blockchain technology. Bitcoin was created so that the world could have access to a currency that is not governed by any state. This cryptocurrency aims to be decentralised and operated by internet users who make their computing power available.
In order for a person to receive or send bitcoin, they must first have a Bitcoin address. This is only possible with a wallet. The blockchain makes it possible to validate all transactions involving BTC. To do this, the computers (also known as nodes) in the community will dig into the history of this virtual currency by asking themselves certain questions:
If all of the answer to all these questions is yes, then the transaction will be validated. Once the electronic signature is made between the two parties, it is impossible to be reversed. The blockchain network is said to be transparent and pseudonymous. Transparent, because all transactions that have been made are written on blocks. It is therefore possible to see all the exchanges that have been made on the blockchain. Pseudonymous, because while it is impossible to know exactly who carried out these transactions, addresses are always associated with every transaction.
Although it is possible to generate (mine) more bitcoins, you should know that there is a limit too, which has already been predefined. By around the year 2140, 21 million bitcoins will have been created, and this will represent the maximum number that can be mined. However, each bitcoin is divisible into 100,000,000 individual units, each of these is known as a satoshi, or sat for short. In other words, one BTC is divisible up to eight decimal places.
You should also be aware that every four years, the number of BTC that miners earn for validating the blockchain gets cut in half in a process called the halving. This is how BTC is able to put a cap on the number of bitcoin available, and is one of the reasons why it is seeing a phenomenal price increase right now.
Like all currencies, Bitcoin is used for transactions. The difference lies in the fact that, when making a purchase using Bitcoin, a P2P (peer-to-peer) network is used and therefore only the buyer and the seller are involved, without the intervention of any other entity. All the same, nowadays, BTC is used more as a store of value, much like gold, with investors and financial institutions buying it up to put onto their balance sheets.
To invest in Bitcoin, you have to go through what is called an exchange. This is a buying platform where you can buy BTC with fiat money (pounds, dollars, etc.). While there are other ways to get digital assets, this is the option we recommend for beginners.
It is important to get your BTC from a reliable exchange. If not, the risk of getting ripped off is far too great and you risk losing your investment. Even though risky platforms are slowly disappearing, there are still many dishonest actors to be wary of.
To help you, we’ve selected a small list of reliable exchanges where you can get bitcoin securely. If you are a beginner and do not have the ability to analyse for yourself the trustworthiness and reliability of different platforms, we recommend that you register only on one of the sites we mention in this guide.
Bitcoin is the world’s leading virtual currency in terms of value. Investing in this cryptocurrency today will potentially earn you more down the road if you can afford to speculate. Understanding that this cryptocurrency is still in its infancy today (even if it was the first to be created) means that its value could still explode.
Bitcoin is considered digital gold and represents the future, as its number is limited to 21 million and it is increasingly difficult to obtain it over time because of the diminishing mining rewards brought about by halvings. Moreover, unlike traditional gold, it is relatively easy to handle BTC and trade it.
For these reasons, many millions of people around the world believe in the future of virtual currency, and the team here all belong to this group. All the same, if you wish to start mining or investing in Bitcoin, our best advice is to only invest what you can afford to lose, and to do plenty of your own research! To find out more about this cryptocurrency, check out our mountain of guides available on it.