Bitcoin is a digital and global money system currency. It allows people to send or receive money across the internet, even to someone they don’t know or don’t trust. Money can be exchanged without being linked to a real identity. Bitcoin key mathematical field of cryptography is the basis for Bitcoin’s security.
A Bitcoin address, or simply address, is an identifier of 26-35 letters and numbers, beginning with the number 1 or 3, that represents a possible destination for a bitcoin payment. Addresses can be generated at no cost by any user of Bitcoin. For example, using Bitcoin Core, one can click “New Address” and be assigned an address. It is also possible to get a Bitcoin address using an account at an exchange or online wallet service.
One of the differences between using bitcoin and using regular money online is that bitcoin can be used without having an internet connection to link any sort of real-world identity to it. Unless someone chooses to link their name to a bitcoin address, it is hard to tell who owns the address. Each address has two important pieces of cryptographic information, or keys: a public one and a private one. A public key is what determines the ownership of bitcoins, and is very similar to an ID number.
If someone wanted to send you bitcoins, all you would need to do is supply them your bitcoin address, which is a version of your public key that is easier to read and type. For example, if Bob has 1 bitcoin at the bitcoin address “ABC123,” and Alice has no bitcoins at the bitcoin address “DEF456,” Bob can send 0. In the example above, “ABC123” and “DEF456” are the bitcoin addresses of Bob and Alice. But Bob and Alice each have a second key which only they individually know.
This is the private key, and it is the “other half” of a Bitcoin address. The private key is never shared, and allows the owner of the bitcoins to control them. However, if the private key is not kept secret, then anyone who sees it can also control and take the bitcoins there. Sites or users using the Bitcoin system are required to use a global database called the blockchain.
The blockchain is a record of all transactions that have taken place in the Bitcoin network. It also keeps track of new bitcoins as they are generated. With these two facts, the blockchain is able to keep track of who has how much money at all times. To generate a bitcoin, a miner must solve a math problem. However, the difficulty of the math problem depends on how many people are mining for bitcoin at the moment. Because of how complicated the math problems usually are, they must be calculated with very powerful processors.
The puzzle is determined by the transactions being sent at the time and the previous puzzle solution. This means the solution to one puzzle is always different from the puzzles before. Attempting to change an earlier transaction, maybe to fake bitcoins being sent or change the number of someone’s bitcoins, requires solving that puzzle again, which takes a lot of work, and also requires solving each of the following puzzles, which takes even more work. A paper printable bitcoin wallet consisting of one bitcoin address for receiving and the corresponding private key for spending. A popular image associated with Bitcoin is a QR code.