A deep dive into Bitcoin – and what makes it better than ‘real money’

In 2008, the pseudonymous person (or persons) by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto released a whitepaper called Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. The release of the whitepaper came at the time of the 2008 global financial crisis, putting trust among financial establishments at an all-time low. According to the paper, while the current system works well for most transactions, “it still suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust based model,” it noted. In order to solve this issue, the nine-page whitepaper suggested the answer lies with an electronic payment system. Based on cryptographic proof rather than trust, the paper states that this would allow “any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.” Back then, the only two people most likely to have realised the potential of Bitcoin BTC were Nakamoto and Hal Finney, a computer scientist. Finney, who died in 2014, developed one of the earliest forms of a proof-of-work cash system. He was also the recipient of Nakamoto’s first Bitcoin transaction. There has been some speculation that the two were the same person. In a bid to give back the power to people to control their own money Nakamoto believed Bitcoin was the answer. To highlight this further when the first block, known as the Genesis Block, was launched on the network in early 2009, it was embedded with this comment: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” Since then the industry has grown, accounting for nearly 2,100 altcoins, of which over 1,700 have a market cap. Unsurprisingly, while many have claimed to be the next big thing, none have managed to trump Bitcoin from the top spot thus far. The technology behind Bitcoin, the blockchain, has also garnered significant interest from various
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