18 Jun Article: Breaking down Bitcoin
I wrote this article that originally appeared on the BellMTS Business Hub blog. Writing on various business topics, I like to keep keenly aware of the landscape in many different industries. You can find this and more articles written by me on the BellMTS Business Hub.
Throughout the last quarter of 2017 and into this year, the commerce world was abuzz with Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency made massive headlines as its commodity price skyrocketed. Now, every Bitcoin put together would be worth about US $110 billion — and that puts a lot of eyes on this digital currency.
As a result, the lucky few who invested in it early — about a decade ago — made a lot of money. There were even overnight millionaires as a result of its meteoric rise. Even with all the press and notoriety, many still don’t have a firm grasp on what Bitcoin really is and how it is used.
Sending a Bitcoin
Created by an unknown software developer in 2009, Bitcoin is the first, most stable and most well-known cryptocurrency — along with having the greatest market capitalization. But how do you actually use it?
In short, Bitcoin is a digital currency that is not controlled by a single person — it is decentralized. It’s not printed or held in the physical world, but rather, the entire cryptocurrency exists entirely in digital software transactions produced by people and businesses.
Sending a Bitcoin is simple, and you only need two things to do it — your Bitcoin address and a private key. Much like a safe, your Bitcoin address is a unique hold for your currency and only you have the ability to unlock it with your “key.”