Bitcoin (symbol:; code: BTC, XBT) is a protocol, open source project and peer-to-peer network that is used as a cryptocurrency, payment system and merchandise.
It was conceived in 2008 by an entity known under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, whose specific identity is unknown. Satoshi worked on the source code of the reference application alongside other volunteer developers until December 2010, at which point he decided to terminate his public activity.
Its traditional unit of account is called "bitcoin" (in plural bitcoins or bitcoines), and it is used to record and transfer value, which is why it is classified as digital currency. Each "bitcoin" is made up of 100 million "satoshis" which is the minimum unit of account.
It implements the technology of the “chain of blocks”, which is often described as a digital ledger, distributed and tamper-proof, in which the history of all transactions is permanently and verifiable. It is characterized by being a decentralized system, not supported or controlled by any government or central bank and its transactions do not require centralized intermediaries.
It uses a proof of work system to prevent double spending and counterfeiting (so that the same bitcoin is not spent several times or arbitrarily minted) and to reach consensus among the nodes that make up the network through the exchange and verification of information thus solving the problem of the Byzantine generals.
Micropayment processing through the Lightning Network or dating through OpenTimestamps are relevant applications of Bitcoin to solve problems in various business fields.
There are two fundamental types of users: those who speculate with their price and cause their value in the markets to have great volatility, and the so-called holders, those who consider that bitcoin will replace gold as a store of value based on its digital properties. its immutability and scarcity. Although some economists claim that its real value is zero, that it is a bubble and / or that it shows signs of having exceeded the thresholds that would lead to a crash, not all agree with that opinion.
The exchanges between Bitcoin and local currency are usually carried out through online platforms, face-to-face meetings and specialized ATMs.
There are also a wide variety of platforms that facilitate the exchange of Bitcoin for other cryptocurrencies, including stable price coins called stablecoins.
Trezor electronic wallet, bitcoin transactions are usually done through a type of platform called "wallets" or "wallets", either intangible, in the form of computer programs, or tangible, in the form of electronic devices. Some examples of electronic wallets can be those manufactured by the companies Trezor, OpenDime and Ledger, among others. Transactions can also be made using paper bills with the printed private key or Casascius coins.
Currently, a considerable number of companies and small businesses accept bitcoins as a means of payment for services of all kinds. Its international reach and the fact that users can trade pseudo anonymously has allowed it to make its way into increasingly regulated sectors such as online gambling and poker games.
Multinationals such as Microsoft, Dell, Time Inc. and Dish Network allow payment with bitcoins, as well as Virgin Galactic and Reddit, among others.
There are plugins for most of the e-commerce platforms, such as WordPress, Drupal, among others, that facilitate their use as a means of payment.