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О Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin is a decentralized peer-to-peer network and the leading digital currency in terms of overall market size. Bitcoin was first proposed via a 2008 white paper authored by a pseudonymous programmer or a group of programmers, known as Satoshi Nakamoto. The network went live on Jan. 3, 2009.

The Bitcoin network itself comprises thousands of distributed nodes that independently verify transactions made using BTC. Unlike all previous payment networks, Bitcoin functions without reliance on a central authority.

Bitcoin miners group BTC transaction data and record it in blocks. Each block is cryptographically linked to the previous block, creating a chain — known as a blockchain. This linkage ensures previously recorded data is incredibly resistant to change.

In the years since its launch, Bitcoin has attracted increasing mainstream interest. Today, there are an estimated 100 million Bitcoin users, and tens of thousands of merchants accept BTC payments worldwide.

The growth of Bitcoin adoption as a means of payment, a money transfer system or a savings vehicle has seen the BTC price and market capitalization increase significantly. In February 2021, the total value of all BTC in circulation passed $1 trillion for the first time.

BTC price and tokenomics

The BTC price is based on supply and demand. However, unlike national currencies, the BTC supply doesn't increase or decrease in response to changing demand. The protocol itself enforces a maximum total supply of 21 million coins.

New BTC enters circulation each time a miner adds a block of transactions to the blockchain. Initially, this block reward was 50 BTC. After every 210,000 blocks — or, roughly, every four years — issuance of this mining reward is automatically cut in half. The most recent Bitcoin halving event, which took place in May 2020, reduced the block reward to 6.25 BTC. These reductions will continue until all 21 million BTC are in circulation at some point around the year 2140.

With the supply known and limited, changes in demand determine the current Bitcoin price. If buying pressure outweighs selling pressure, the price increases. If sellers outnumber buyers, the BTC price falls.

Over Bitcoin's existence, demand for a censorship-resistant, permissionless payment solution has trended upward. So, too, has the Bitcoin price. However, sudden sell-offs create price volatility. This volatility has made BTC very popular with traders. Meanwhile, Bitcoin's finite supply has encouraged a growing number of individuals, corporations and institutions to invest in BTC as a store-of-value asset.

About Bitcoin's founder

Satoshi Nakamoto's identity remains a mystery to this day. Between October 2008 and mid-2010, the programmer didn't reveal much personal information at all.

What Nakamoto's emails and forum posts do show is a strong disdain for central banking. The currency system Nakamoto created reflects this, too. No entity can censor Bitcoin transactions, nor alter either the network's rate of issuance or its maximum supply.

In Bitcoin's infancy, Nakamoto was one of its only miners. The creator is believed to have personally mined around 1 million coins. At the current Bitcoin price, Nakamoto's coins are worth tens of billions of dollars. The fact that these coins have never moved lends support to theories that Nakamoto has either lost access to these wallets or has passed away.


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