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no one controls these blocks, because the blockchains are decentralized to every computer that has a bitcoin wallet, which you only get if you buy bitcoins.

why bother using it?

Reading: Bitcoin vs dollar

True to its origins as an open, decentralized currency, bitcoin is intended to be a faster, cheaper, and more reliable form of payment than money tied to individual countries. furthermore, it is the only form of money that users can theoretically “mine” themselves, if they (and their computers) have the ability.

But even for those who don’t discover using their own high-powered computers, anyone can buy and sell bitcoin at any bitcoin price they want, usually through online exchanges like coinbase or localbitcoins.

A 2015 survey showed that bitcoin users tend to be overwhelmingly white and male, but with variable income. people with more bitcoins are more likely to use them for illegal purposes, the survey suggested.

Each bitcoin has a complicated identification, known as a hexadecimal code, which is many times more difficult to steal than someone’s credit card information. and since there is a finite number to account for, there is less chance of bitcoins or fractions of bitcoins being lost.

but while fraudulent credit card purchases are reversible, bitcoin transactions are not.

21 million

bitcoin is unique in that there is a finite number of them: 21 million. Satoshi Nakamoto, the enigmatic founder of bitcoin, arrived at that number assuming that people would discover, or “mine,” a set number of transaction blocks daily.

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every four years, the number of bitcoins released relative to the previous cycle is halved, as is the reward to miners for discovering new blocks. (the reward at the moment is 12.5 bitcoins). As a result, the number of bitcoins in circulation will approach 21 million, but it will never reach it.

This means that bitcoin never experiences inflation. Unlike US dollars, whose purchasing power the Federal Reserve can dilute by printing more greenbacks, there simply won’t be more bitcoins available in the future. That has worried some skeptics, as it means a hack could be catastrophic by wiping out people’s bitcoin wallets, with less hope of reimbursement. which could make the price of bitcoin irrelevant.

the future of bitcoin

Historically, the currency has been extremely volatile. But follow its recent boom, and a forecast by early snapchat investor Jeremy Liew that a bitcoin price of $500,000 will hit by 2030, and catching even a fraction of bitcoin is starting to look a lot more appealing.

bitcoin users predict that 94% of all bitcoins will have been released by 2024. as the total number approaches the 21 million mark, many suspect that the profit miners once made from create new blocks will be so low that they will become insignificant. with the price of bitcoin dropping significantly. but with more bitcoins in circulation, people also expect transaction fees to rise, possibly making up the difference.

the fork

One of the biggest moments for bitcoin came in August 2017, when the digital currency officially forked and split into two: bitcoin cash and bitcoin.

Miners were able to search for bitcoin cash beginning Tuesday, August 1, 2017, with cryptocurrency-focused news website coindesk saying the first bitcoin cash was mined around 2:20 p.m. et.

Supporters of the newly formed bitcoin cash believe the currency will “breathe new life” into nearly 10-year-old bitcoin by addressing some of the issues bitcoin is facing lately, such as slow transaction speeds.

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mighty bitcoin brokers have been arguing over the rules that should guide the cryptocurrency’s blockchain network.

On one side are the so-called core developers. they favor smaller bitcoin blocks, which they say are less vulnerable to hacking. On the other hand, there are the miners, who want to increase the size of the blocks to make the network faster and more scalable.

Until just before the decision, the solution known as segwit2x, which would double the size of bitcoin’s blocks to 2 megabytes, appeared to have universal support.

then came bitcoin cash. the solution is a fork of the bitcoin system. the new software has all the history of the old platform; however, bitcoin cash blocks have a capacity of 8 megabytes.

bitcoin cash came out of nowhere, according to charles morris, chief investment officer at nextblock global, a digital asset investment firm.

“A group of miners who didn’t like segwit2x are opting for this new software that will increase the block size from the current 1 megabyte to 8,” Morris told Business Insider.

certainly only a minority of bitcoin miners and bitcoin exchanges have said they will support the new coin.

Investors who hold their bitcoins on exchanges or wallets that support the new currency will soon see their holdings double, with one unit of bitcoin cash added for every bitcoin. but that doesn’t mean the value of investors’ holdings will double.

Because bitcoin cash initially derived its value from bitcoin’s market capitalization, it caused bitcoin’s value to drop by an amount proportional to its adoption at launch.

the future of bitcoin and the price of bitcoin remain uncertain. it could go to $1,000,000 or it could go to $0. nobody really knows.

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