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Okay, Here’s What You Actually Need to Know About Bitcoin A fast guide to cryptocurrency’s golden child. The financial print bitcoin can’t stop talking about bitcoin. To anyone on the outside, those words make no sense. But that doesn’t mean that bitcoin isn’t on the average American’s radar.

Introduced in 2009, bitcoin is an anonymous cryptocurrency, or a form of currency that exists digitally through encryption. It was invented to be unhackable, untraceable, and safe for investors. So, at least for now, it’s not going away. Here’s a quick rundown on what the hell bitcoin actually is. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that is conducted on a public ledger, the “blockchain. Digitally transferred, it exists only online.

Much like gold, it can have monetary value while also being a commodity, but it’s still its own currency. It is also decentralized and not managed by a single entity, but rather a group of people who process transactions, called miners. Miners are in charge of making sure bitcoin transactions made by users are recorded and legit. Simply put, they do this by grouping every new bitcoin transaction made during a set time frame into a block. Once a block is made, it is added to the chain, which is linked together with a complex cryptography. This chain of blocks is the public ledger, and its extreme complexity is what currently protects transactions.

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