The Basics of Bitcoin and the Blockchain

If you’ve been following cryptocurrency news this year, you’ve seen that Bitcoin has hit an all-time high multiple times this year. If you are unfamiliar with bitcoin or the technology that powers it, blockchain, we are breaking down the basics.

Bitcoin is an electronic form of money that was invented in 2008 by the anonymous creator who went by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Unlike paper money, Bitcoin operates strictly online and there is no ability to create more bitcoin. There will only ever be 21 million bitcoins in existence, which is why many cryptocurrency experts believe bitcoin is the solution to inflation. Bitcoin has recently surged in popularity as more vendors are accepting it as a form of payment and tech giants like Elon Musk are making massive bitcoin investments.

Bitcoin exists because of the Blockchain, the technology that powers it. Blockchain is a decentralized, public ledger that allows for something digital to exist in only one place. When someone sends bitcoin via the blockchain, it will only ever exist in one place unlike current banking systems that take 1-3 days to process some payments. When it takes a while to process a payment, that money essential exists in two places whereas with bitcoin and the blockchain, digital assets only ever exist in one place.

To understand more about this technology, we’ve gathered a few recommend reads.

Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System by Satoshi Nakamoto
Written by anonymous Bitcoin founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, this is the whitepaper that first introduced Bitcoin to the world. The 9-page document is the perfect introduction to understanding Bitcoin, why it was created, and how it works.

The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos
While the original whitepaper explains the how of Bitcoin, Antonopoulous’ “The Internet of Money” explains the why. This book examines the significance of bitcoin through a series of essays exploring the technical, social, and historical implications of the technology and how it is changing the world.

Blockchain Revolution: How the technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott
Once you have a better understanding of bitcoin, the next recommend read centers around blockchain. This book is filled with real-life examples of organizations currently utilizing blockchain technology and how it will continue widespread adoption and the effects it will have on our daily lives.