|A Bitcoin paper wallet (virtual currency) with QR codes appears in the illustration drawings taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015 (photo: REUTERS / Benoit Tessier / Photo Archive)|
Its value is more than one ounce of gold today, this currency is entirely digital, and this is the currency of cyber attackers who crippled computer networks around the world lately.
When the attackers "ransomware" in action, the attacker took the victim hostage by encrypting the victim's data and demanding them to send the payment in bitcoin so that the victim can return to access their computers. Bitcoin has a vague history, but it is a currency that allows people to buy goods and services by exchanging money without involving banks, credit card issuers, or other third parties.
Here's a glimpse of bitcoin:
How bitcoin works
Bitcoin is a digital currency that is not tied to a bank or government and allows its users to shop without revealing their true identity. These coins are created by users who "mine" their currency by lending computing power to verify other user transactions. They accept bitcoin in return. These coins can also be bought and sold by exchanging US dollars and other currencies.
How much is it worth?
One bitcoin last traded for $ 1,734.65, according to Coinbase, a company that helps exchange bitcoins. This value makes it worth more than an ounce of gold, which trades at a value of less than $ 1,230.
But bitcoins can vary sharply. A year ago, the value was $ 457.04, which means now the value is already four times higher than the last 12 months. But the price is not always increasing. The value of bitcoin fell 23 percent against the dollar in the past week in January. Its value drops back to the same value within 10 days in March.
Why bitcoin is popular
Basically bitcoin is a sequence of digitally signed computer code each time the currency moves from one owner to the next. Transactions can be done without revealing the identity of the culprit, making this currency popular among freedom lovers, in addition to fans, speculators - and criminals.
Who uses bitcoin?
Some business entities have participated in this bitcoin trend in the midst of media coverage. Overstock.com accepts payments in bitcoins, for example.
This currency became quite popular resulting in over 300,000 daily transactions recently, according to the bitcoin blockchain.info website. A year ago, his activities approached 230,000 transactions per day.
However, its popularity is low compared to cash, and card-based transactions, and many individuals and businesses are unwilling to accept payments in bitcoins.
How bitcoin security can be maintained
Bitcoin networks work by exploiting the greed of individuals for collective goods. A network with skilled users in technology called miners keeps the system honest by pouring computing power into a blockchain, a global calculation that records every bitcoin transaction. Blockchain prevents those who do not mean to spend the same bitcoin twice, and these miners are rewarded for their efforts sometimes in the form of bitcoins. As long as the miners keep the blockchain safe, there will not be a forgery problem.
How did the onset of bitcoin begin?
Still a mystery. Bitcoin was first launched in 2009 by a person or group of people operating under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin was later adopted by a group of fans. Nakamoto is no longer involved in bitcoin when this currency begins to become widespread. But his supporters did not mind. This currency has its own internal rules.
An Australian entrepreneur last year came forward and claimed to be the founder of bitcoin, and within a few days he "had no courage" to provide evidence that he was a true founder.