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Bitcoin vs Assets
Welcome to Bitcoin Price
Find the current price of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. You can also compare it to other assets including gold, silver and the S&P 500. We also have historical bitcoin charts comparing the price of bitcoin to USD.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is the most popular digital currency. You can use it to pay for things without any involvement of a third party broker (a bank or government).
It is the first decentralized cryptocurrency; created and held electronically. Although physical forms of bitcoin do exist, currency’s primary form is data so that you can trade it online peer-to-peer, using wallets, iphone apps or an online service like Coinbase.
Each Bitcoin is subdivided down to eight decimal places, forming 100,000,000 smaller units called satoshis.
Bitcoins work like paper money in many ways with some key differences. Think of Bitcoin as a big record book (aka blockchain) shared by all the users. When someone pays for something using Bitcoin or gets paid, the transaction is recorded in the record book.
Computers around the world compete to confirm that transaction by solving complicated mathematical problems and in turn, the winner gets rewarded with a very small portion of a Bitcoin. This process is known as mining (more on this later).
In essence, Bitcoins are electricity converted into long strings of code that have monetary value. Some consider Bitcoin as a commodity, like gold. Think of it as an investment. You can tuck them away and hope their value increases over the years.
Who created Bitcoin?
The first Bitcoin proof of concept was published in 2009 by a person or a group of people known as Satoshi Nakamoto.
No one really knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is. It is still a mystery.
For years there have been numerous attempts by big media houses like Wired and others to find out who Satoshi Nakamoto is but all those efforts have gone in vain.
It is said that Satoshi Nakamoto left the Bitcoin project in 2010 and still holds around 1 Million Bitcoins.
In 2014, Newsweek said that the Bitcoin creator was a 64-year-old Japanese-American living in California named Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto:
This brought the real Satoshi Nakamoto to life after a five-year hibernation. He used P2P forum to say, “I am not Dorian Nakamoto”. This is the same forum that he used to introduce bitcoin for the first time back in 2009.
That was the last time we heard from him.
In May 2016 an Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright said he’s the inventor of Bitcoin. Only to be soon debunked by Bitcoin enthusiasts on Reddit and later by Wired.
How does Bitcoin work?
The big record book or ledger is called a blockchain. The file size of blockchain is quite small, similar to the size of a text message on your phone.
Every Bitcoin blockchain has three parts; its identifying address (of approximately 34 characters), the history of who has bought and sold it (the ledger) and its third part is the private key header log.
The first two parts are quite easy to understand. The third one is a bit complex – this is where a sophisticated digital signature is captured to confirm each and every transaction for that particular Bitcoin file. Each digital signature is unique to each individual user and his/her personal Bitcoin wallet.
Each and every trade of Bitcoin is tracked and publicly disclosed, with each participant’s digital signature attached to the Bitcoin blockchain as a confirmation.
These trades can be found at blockchain.info.
This also means people can see the history of your Bitcoin wallet which is a good thing because it adds transparency and security. Also, it helps deter people from using Bitcoins for illegal purposes.
The integrity and chronological order of the blockchain is enforced with cryptography. In addition to archiving transactions, each new ledger update creates some newly-minted Bitcoins.
The number of new Bitcoins created in each update is halved every 4 years until the year 2140 when this number will round down to zero. At that time no more Bitcoins will be added to circulation and the total number of Bitcoins will have reached a maximum of 21 million.
How can you buy Bitcoin?
You can buy bitcoins at online exchanges similar to a paypal account. Companies like Coinbase allow you to buy bitcoin with a credit card along with wire transfers, checks and ACH. You can also use professional exchanges like GDAX that allow for institutional investors and experienced traders to trade in high volumes in a variety of cryptocurrencies with minimal fees.
What is Bitcoin Cash?
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is one of the hard forks of original Bitcoin that was created in August 2017 in order to put an end to the scaling debate which was going on for a couple of years.
Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BTH) are very similar with regards to construct, design and roadmap, so much so that BCH shares the entire blockchain history prior to August 1st with BTC.
While BTC’s first focus is to keep Bitcoin decentralized so that it can remain public, permissionless and highly censor-resistant network, BCH’s priorities are to enable fast, cheap payments over the network. That’s the reason why BCH forked from BTC and increased the block size to 8MB from 1MB to accommodate faster and cheap transactions.
That being said, BTC camp also wants the transactions to be cheap and fast, but not at the risk of its decentralization.
This is how Bitcoin Cash describes itself: “Bitcoin Cash is peer-to-peer electronic cash for the Internet. It is fully decentralized, with no central bank and requires no trusted third parties to operate.”
How was Bitcoin Cash created?
BCH, defined by Bitcoin ABC software was all set to fork on August 1, 2017, but because of how Bitcoin nodes measure time, the actual fork happened a little bit later.
When the block 478,558 was found, BTC and BCH miners started to look for a different kind of block, each following their own protocol. Since Bitcoin has much more hash power attributed to its chain, a Bitcoin miner was the first to find such block, marking it as the first block rejected by Bitcoin Cash nodes. That’s when the split happened and six hours later Chinese mining pool ViaBTC found the first Bitcoin Cash block.
Gradually, as more and more miners started mining BCH, increasing number of exchanges started supporting the cryptocurrency for trading.
Bitcoin Cash was created by ViaBTC, backed by BitMain – the biggest mining pool in the world – with the support of proponents like Roger Ver, Gavin Andresen, and Craig Wright.
How does Bitcoin Cash work?
Bitcoin Cash works more or less the same way as Bitcoin except:
- It has a block size of 8MB
- It does not have SegWit
- It does not have “replace by fee” feature
- It has replay and wipeout protection.
- It offers a way to adjust the proof-of-work difficulty quicker as compared to Bitcoin
Since BCH is the hardfork of Bitcoin, anyone who held BTC prior to the fork got an equal amount of BCH coins provided they didn’t have their BTC in exchanges and were in possession of their private keys at the time of the hardfork.
Although some exchanges like Poloniex and Bittrex allotted an equal amount of BCH to all the users who kept BTC in the exchange. Coinbase, on the other hand, will let users withdraw BCH on January 1, 2018.
How can you buy Bitcoin Cash?
Soon after the fork hardly any exchange enabled BCH for trading. HitBTC was the only exchange that was allowing deposits within a reasonable timeframe. As of now, middle of November 2017, BCH can be bought at major cryptocurrency exchanges. Bithumb, HitBTC, Bitfinex, Coinone, Korbit, and Bittrex are to name a few.