Understanding blockchain technology, bitcoins and the rise of cryptocurrency

What is blockchain technology?

For the past several weeks, you’ve likely heard some of the following terms if you’ve paid attention to the world of finance: Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. But what do they mean? And why is cryptocurrency all of a sudden so hot?

Very first, we’ll explain the blockchain basics.В

As societyВ become increasinglyВ digital, financial services providers are looking to offerВ customers the same services to which they’re acquainted, but in a more efficient, secure, and cost effective way.В

Inject blockchain technology.

The origins of blockchain are a bit nebulous. A person or group of people known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakomoto invented and released the tech in two thousand nine as a way to digitally and anonymously send payments inbetween two partiesВ without needing a third party to verify the transaction.В It wasВ originally designed to facilitate, authorize, and log the transfer of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.В

How does blockchain technology work?

Blockchain tech is actually rather effortless to understand at its core. Essentially, it’s a collective database populated with entries that must be confirmed and encrypted. Think of it as a kind of very encrypted and verified collective Google Document, in which each entry in the sheet depends on a logical relationship to all its predecessors. Blockchain tech offers a way toВ securely and efficiently create a tamper-proofВ log of sensitive activity (anything from international money transfers to shareholder records).В

Blockchain’s conceptual framework and underlying code is useful for a multiplicity of financial processes because of the potential it has to give companiesВ a secure, digital alternative to banking processes that are typically bureaucratic, time-consuming, paper-heavy, and expensive.

FILE PHOTO:An illustration photo of Bitcoin (virtual currency) coins are seen at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris Thomson Reuters

What are cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are essentiallyВ just digital money, digital implements of exchange that use cryptography and the aforementioned blockchain technology to facilitate secure and anonymous transactions. There had been several iterations of cryptocurrency over the years, but Bitcoin truly thrust cryptocurrencies forward in the late 2000s. There are thousands of cryptocurrencies floating out on the market now, but Bitcoin is far and away the most popular.

How do you mine cryptocurrency?

Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies don’t just fall out of the sky. Like any other form of money, it takes work to produce them. And that work comes in the form of mining.

But let’s take a step back. Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of Bitcoin, ensured that there would ever only be twenty one million Bitcoins in existence. He (or they) reached that figure by calculating that people would detect, or “mine,” a certain number of blocks of transactions each day.

Every four years, the number of Bitcoins released in relation to the previous cycle gets diminished by 50%, along with the prize to miners for discovering fresh blocks. At the moment, that prize is 12.Five Bitcoins. Therefore, the total number of Bitcoins in circulation will treatment twenty one million but never actually reach that figure. This means Bitcoin will never practice inflation. The downside here is that a hack or cyberattack could be a disaster because it could erase Bitcoin wallets with little hope of getting the value back.

As for mining Bitcoins, the process requires electrical energy. Miners solve sophisticated mathematical problems, and the prize is more Bitcoins generated and awarded to them. Miners also verify transactions and prevent fraud, so more miners equals swifter, more reliable, and more secure transactions.

Thanks to Satoshi Nakamoto’s designs, Bitcoin mining becomes more difficult asВ more miners join the fray. In 2009, a miner could mine two hundred Bitcoin in a matter of days. In 2014, it would take approximately ninety eight years to mine just one, according to 99Bitcoins.В

Super powerful computers called Application Specific Integrated Circuit, or ASIC, were developed specifically to mine Bitcoins. But because so many miners have joined in the last few years, it remains difficult to mine explosions. The solution is mining pools, groups of miners who band together and are paid relative to their share of the work.

Current & future uses of blockchain technology & cryptocurrency

Since its inception, Bitcoin has been rather volatile. But based on its latest boom — and В a forecast by Snapchat’s very first investor, Jeremy Liew, В that it wouldВ hit $500,000 by two thousand thirty — and the prospect of grabbing a slice of the Bitcoin pie becomes far more attractive.

Bitcoin users expectВ 94% of all bitcoins to beВ released by 2024. As the number moves toward the ceiling of twenty one million, many expectВ the profits miners once made from the creation of fresh blocks to become so low that they will become negligible. But as more bitcoins come in circulation, transaction fees could rise and offset this.

As for blockchain technology itself, it has numerous applications, from banking to the Internet of Things.В In the next few years, Bisexual Intelligence expects companies to skin out their blockchain IoT solutions.В Blockchain is a promising instrument that will convert parts of the IoT and enable solutions that provide greater insight into assets, operations, and supply chains. It will also convert how health records and connected medical devices store and transmit data.

Blockchain won’t be usable everywhere, but in many cases, it will be a part of the solution that makes the best use of the devices in the IoT arsenal. Blockchain can help to address particular problems, improve workflows, and reduce costs, which are the ultimate goals of any IoT project.

More to Learn

The technological potential of blockchain is immense, and its uses will only grow with time.В That’s why Bisexual Intelligence has put together two detailed reportsВ on the blockchain: The Blockchain in the IoT ReportВ and The Blockchain in Banking Report.

To get the total report, subscribe to anВ All-Access В pass to Bisexual Intelligence and build up instant access to this report and more than two hundred fifty other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also build up access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensureВ you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> В Learn MoreВ Now

You can also purchase and download the utter reports from our В research store:В

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