Bitcoin is the first successful digital currency. Its success lies in its ability to create consensus for a transaction database, a blockchain, between a large number of independent sources, or nodes. Bitcoin has a number of unique and powerful properties.
Envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s consensus allows transactions between mutually unknown actors without the need for a central authority such as a bank, remittance, or market platform provider, such as Airbnb or Uber.
The blockchain is a ledger encompassing the history of every Bitcoin transaction that has ever taken place. It is held and maintained by every node on the network simultaneously.
Blockchains are cryptography-based, distributed databases which verify data or transaction across a network. Blockchain is the technology that supports cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but it can support the transaction of any data or digital asset.
Applications of Bitcoin range from conventional payment to microfinance, remittances, autonomous software entities, digital resource trade networks, and crowdfunding.
Bitcoin is the first “killer application” for blockchain technology in the same way email was the first “killer application” for the Internet.
Since the conceptual stages of Bitcoin, blockchain technology would clearly find uses far beyond cryptocurrency. Companies across multiple verticals have been experimenting with the technology and many have found ways to circumvent its limitations by using other blockchains for their own particular needs.
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