A deep dive into blockchain and Bitcoin12.03.2018
In (In)secure Magazine Issue 27, March 2018.
Blockchain technology promises to solve many
complex problems across different business
sectors and industries, and Bitcoin is breaking
value records seemingly every hour. But many
don’t understand how the two really work, and
use the two words interchangeably as if they were
One important thing to remember is that
blockchain can exist without Bitcoin, but Bitcoin
cannot exist without a blockchain.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that was created in
2009. Only 21 million Bitcoins can ever be created
(mined), and it is estimated that the last coin will
be produced in 2140.
It is exchanged on a decentralized, peer-to-peer
network, meaning that there is no central server or
authority (i.e., a central bank) that regulates it. In
the beginning, the Bitcoin network was operated
by volunteers who had a full Bitcoin protocol stack
installed on their private computers. However, the
network’s operation has mostly been taken over by
specialized data centers.
Bitcoin operates on a cryptographic protocol,
is fully transparent and open source. As it’s not
backed by a real authority, the health of the system
depends entirely on the trust people have in it.
The value of Bitcoin is determined by the amount
people are willing to pay for it.
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