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Some people define bitcoin as money for the Internet. Technology experts often refer to it as the Internet Of Money. And a growing number of financial analysts and global investors are calling it Gold 2. 0 – a new global asset class.
Bitcoin is many things to many people. Before anything, Bitcoin is an Internet protocol which represents a fundamental breakthrough in computer science offering humanity a revolutionary new technology, perhaps the most important invention since the Internet – based on open-source software. Be sure to note that the Bitcoin Network is NOT a company, is NOT a shiny gold coin, and is NOT a Ponzi scheme. The official Bitcoin White Paper was released to the general public on October 31, 2008 which in-great-technical-detail described groundbreaking innovation within the financial technology sector: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. The invention of the Bitcoin network now officially enables peer-to-peer digital and global value transfer without the need of a third-party intermediary. As a key-feature rather than a flaw, the Bitcoin network is decentralized with no central point of failure. All transactions are broadcast to the network, time stamped, validated, and locked into 1MB – 2 MB data blocks, and ultimately chained together as a historical and immutable record.
SMTP otherwise known as e-mail or HTTP which is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web. The Bitcoin network software has a pre-set mathematical hard cap of 21 million bitcoin that will ever be issued over a period of 131 years, 16,920,017 of which have already been mined and are in global circulation. BTC is the common industry abbreviation when referencing Bitcoin as a currency. The ISO 4217 currency code is currently XBT which is still considered unofficial. There are economic and non-economic nodes. These individuals download and run the bitcoin open-source software and freely opt-in to join the global network. As a compensation mechanism for validating transactions across the Bitcoin network, bitcoin miners are rewarded newly-minted bitcoins every ten minutes in exchange for their participation.
Industry analysts suggest the Bitcoin network now exceeds Google in computing power by 100X. Similar to email, you would need to shut down the entire global Internet for the Bitcoin network to be temporarily muted. Not only are bitcoins impossible to counterfeit, transactions can not be blocked or frozen and there are no prerequisites or arbitrary limits to participate. As with any new revolutionary technology or scientific breakthrough, venture capitalists and professional investors are never far behind the wave of exciting headline news. Through a concentrated effort to form legal business entities with technology and financial services experts, as well as the consistent organization of professional industry associations, meet-ups, conferences, and startup incubators, the Bitcoin industry has significantly matured in a few short years. The common denominator among both investors and executives within the industry is to establish a balanced environment where innovation can flourish while simultaneously ensuring that bitcoin startups are abiding by any local, state and Federal regulations. The world has never seen anything like Bitcoin.