It’s time to talk about the elephant in the room, Bitcoin fees.
When Bitcoin first launched, the cost of each transaction fee was negligible and in many cases, you could send transactions with zero fees which would still be processed.
However, I’m afraid that time has long gone and the average cost of a transaction has now crept above a dollar.
So what happened?
This post will be a little different, I’m going to share a series of short interesting facts about Bitcoin that I’ve picked up over the years.
Let’s get straight into it…
In my introduction to Bitcoin wallets, I took you through the concept of a mobile wallet as an easy and quick way to get up and running with Bitcoin.
In this post, I am going to explain in detail how to actually use a mobile wallet. This post will focus on my favourite app, Breadwallet on iOS. Yes, I’m afraid I’m a guilty as charged Apple fanboy. However, the app functions nearly identically on both iOS and Android so the tutorial should work pretty much the same whichever platform you choose.
Breadwallet was created by Aaron Voisine and Adam Traidman, two silicon valley based developers. It’s main principles are simplicity and beautiful design which I think is sorely needed in the highly complex and confusing world of crypto currency.
But enough waffling, let’s get this show on the road.
Last time we went through the various ways that you can get hold of some crypto currency and Bitcoin. In this article, I am going to take you through the most common method of getting bitcoins. Purchasing them with fiat currency!
Buying bitcoins can be harder than you might initially expect as the industry is still in it’s fledgling years. However, there are still many different ways, so let’s take a look at each of them in turn.
In the last article we explored the different types of Bitcoin wallet and took a look at some recommendations for each of them. However, having a new fangled digital wallet isn’t all that exciting if you don’t have any bitcoin to store in it!
In this article, we are going to explore the different ways that you can get hold of bitcoin (and by extension, other crypto currencies too).
There are four main ways that you can get hold of crypto currency and bitcoin:
- Be given a small amount via a tip or from a faucet
- Mine as part of a mining pool
- Earn bitcoin as payment for work under taken
- Purchase bitcoin directly
Let’s explore each of these in more detail…
We’ve already explored what a bitcoin address is and how they are protected by cryptography. Now we will learn what bitcoin wallets are, which options are available and how you go about using one. Yes, this is the post that gets you on board the digital currency train.
A wallet is simply a collection of bitcoin private keys which enables you to use multiple bitcoin addresses with ease
My first series of articles focused on exactly what crypto currency is and how it actually works. Assuming those suitably wet your appetite, the natural next step for most people is to want to try it out and join the future of money.
But where do you start?
We’ve now covered how bitcoin addresses are secured and become acquainted with the blockchain. In this post we are going to learn about the process known as mining which acts to secure the network.
What is bitcoin mining?
Miners are the engine that powers the blockchain. They check transactions are valid and then record them into blocks to be added to the chain.
There are two key questions that mining answers.
Bitcoin uses a peer-to-peer network, with no central authority issuing transactions. As a result, each node is likely to include different transactions in their respective blocks.
(1) How does the network decide which block to add to the chain?
Furthermore, computers are expensive to buy and operate.
(2) Why would anyone spend their resources running a node?
In the last post, we uncovered exactly what a Bitcoin address is and how one can be secured using modern cryptography.
In this post we are going to delve into the database underpinning bitcoin and learn how it is structured. That database is known as a blockchain:
A blockchain is simply a distributed database
For many years, it was thought that fully decentralised digital currencies were impossible. The reason being the problem of double spending. How do you ensure that a digital coin has not been copied electronically and therefore spent repeatedly without the use of a central authority for verification?
In this post we will take a closer look at the magic of cryptography and how it features in Bitcoin.
Bitcoin begins with public key cryptography
As I’ve touched on in my previous posts, the Bitcoin protocol is essentially a record of transactions between addresses. For simplicities sake you can think of an address as being akin to an online bank account. The Bitcoin ledger contains records of the coins that each address has sent and received.
But what actually is an address? Public key cryptography was published in the 1970s and provides a method for asynchronous encryption and decryption of information.
What on earth does that mean?