A gentle introduction to bitcoin

by aainslie

Bits on blocks

This article is a gentle introduction to bitcoin and assumes minimal technical knowledge.

In the popular media, you will often read comments like “Bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet”, or “You can send money using blockchain technology”.  These comments can be misleading and can confuse.  By the end of this you should understand enough to participate in a dinnertime conversation about bitcoin, and not be mystified by the topic.

Bitcoin

Although people refer to bitcoin as a decentralised digital currency, I prefer to think of it as an electronic asset, to sidestep questions around which government backs it and who sets the interest rate, which are often a mental block in understanding bitcoin.

As an electronic asset, you can buy bitcoins, own them, and send them to someone else.  Currently there are around 14 million bitcoins that have been created, increasing by 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes or so…

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