BITCOIN ( BTC )

All about Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Best Wallets, Trading, Mining, Masternodes

What is Bitcoin?

Many investors consider Bitcoin to be the original cryptocurrency. Founded in 2009 by a programmer (or, possibly, a group of programmers) under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin ushered in a new age of blockchain technology and decentralized digital currencies. Satoshi's whitepaper outlining Bitcoin also describes the concept of blockchain technology for the first time, saying that "the network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work."
Bitcoin offers the promise of lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms and is operated by a decentralized authority, unlike government-issued currencies. There are no physical bitcoins, only balances kept on a public ledger in the cloud, that – along with all Bitcoin transactions – is verified by a massive amount of computing power. Bitcoins are not issued or backed by any banks or governments, nor are individual bitcoins valuable as a commodity. Despite its not being legal tender, Bitcoin charts high on popularity, and has triggered the launch of other virtual currencies collectively referred to as Altcoins.
No doubt that Bitcoin has had a revolutionary impact on the cryptocurrency space and for the time being it remains the number one digital currency in the world by market cap, but Bitcoin is over a decade old. Digital technology going forward at a rapid pace and still accelerating. Crypto technology is no exception. There are now over 1500 cryptocurrencies newer than Bitcoin. Tens of it are more safer, efficient, faster, and offer features that Bitcoin lacks.
Bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet

What is a Bitcoin wallet ?

Bitcoins don’t exist in any physical shape or form, they can’t technically be stored anywhere. Instead, it’s the private keys used to access your public Bitcoin address and sign for transactions that need to be securely stored. A combination of the recipient’s public key and your private key is what makes a Bitcoin transaction possible. A Bitcoin Wallet is a device or program that stores your private keys and allows you to interact with the Bitcoin blockchain ( in simplification send and receive Bitcoins ).There are several different forms of Bitcoin wallet, catering for different requirements and varying in terms of safety and security, convenience, accessibility etc :

Bitcoin Hardware Wallets

Hardware wallets store users private keys on a device, typically a USB drive. Hardware storage is convenient because of its ability to send and receive currencies by merely plugging them into the internet enabled device and authorizing yourself. Therefore, hardware wallet is the most expensive, but also one of the safest options. A hardware device typically costs about $100 but it definitely worth owning from the point of view of the safety of your cryptocurrencies. Most popular hardware wallets that allow you to store BTC are Ledger Nano S, Trezor, KeepKey and BitBox.

Bitcoin Paper Wallets

Paper wallets requires a high level of caution from the user. It is so because in a typical paper wallet you just print your private keys and public addresses on a piece of paper and start transferring your Bitcoins on it. Needless to say, as it keeps your private keys offline, it is another secure way of storing your Bitcoins, but it is not recommended for beginners.

Bitcoin Software ( Desktop ) Wallets

Software wallets are programs that store and manage the private key for your Bitcoins on your computer’s hard drive.
They are installable software packs that are available for most of the desktop operating systems such as Windows, Linux etc. By definition, they are more secure than online and mobile wallets, as they don’t rely on third parties for their data and are harder to steal. They are still connected to the Internet, which makes them inherently insecure. However, desktop wallets are a great solution for those trading small amount of Bitcoin from their computers. Most popular hardware wallets that allow you to store BTC are Electrum and Bitcoin Core for example.

Bitcoin Mobile Wallets

Mobile wallets are similar functions as a desktop ( software ) wallet, and help you send/receive Bitcoins and pay directly from your mobile from anywhere. Thus a mobile wallet facilitates in making payments in physical stores by using "touch-to-pay" via NFC scanning a QR code etc.  It's advisable to research your preferred mobile Bitcoin wallet as several malware softwares posing as Bitcoin wallets can be.

Bitcoin Web Wallets

Web wallets are "hot wallets" that are always connected to the internet and can be accessed directly via internet browsers (similar as you enter on website). They provide immediate access to all your funds at any time. Web Wallets are generally secure but do not offer the same level of security offered by Cold Wallets ( Paper, Hardware ). As these wallets are always connected to the internet, there is always a risk of getting hacked and eventually losing your funds. Hot wallets are extremely beneficial for beginners who tend to store small amounts of cryptocurrencies. However, if you are planning to store a large number of cryptocurrencies or wish to trade frequently, opt for a cold wallet instead.
Bitcoin cryptocurrency - web and mobile wallets

Description of several popular Bitcoin wallets

With cryptocurrency technologies and trends, it can often be hard to keep track of the latest best practices. One of the most important considerations to make as a Bitcoin investor or owner is where to store them. For that, you need to know, what are available Bitcoin wallets and choose the one that suits you best.

Bitcoin Core - the original Bitcoin wallet

Bitcoin Core is the software that runs the entire bitcoin network. Included in the Bitcoin Core software is a secure digital wallet that can be used to store, send and receive bitcoin. By choosing to store your bitcoin in the Bitcoin Core wallet, you can contribute to the decentralized bitcoin network by validating transactions and storing a copy of the blockchain.
Taking advantage of the Bitcoin Core wallet does require some time, setup and technical know-how that may not be appropriate for all users, but when it comes to security the original bitcoin wallet is still hailed by many as one of the safest places to keep your funds.
In order to use the wallet client that comes with Bitcoin Core, you will first need to download it. Please note, that Bitcoin Core require files for instalation and the entire blockchain, which contains the history of all past bitcoin transactions; It’s about 150GB in size. Depending on your Internet connection and the speed of your computer, this can take several hours or days to complete.
You can download Bitcoin Core from the official website : https://bitcoin.org/en/download
To ensure security, avoid downloading this software from unofficial sources.

Electrum Bitcoin wallet

Electrum is a lightwight, free and open-source Bitcoin software wallet focuses on speed and simplicity. It provides a nice interface that broadcasts all your transaction details instantly. Unlike Bitcoin Core client ( which requires downloading a lot of GB data with Bitcoin blockchain ), Electrum doesn't need to download any additional data  because it connects to external servers and is ready for use immediately after launch. Electrum is available on Linux, Windows, OSX and Android.
Information how to create and use Electrum wallet, you can find here : Electrum - Wallet Creating Tutorial
Bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet tutorials and informations

Some note and comments about Bitcoin cryptocurrency

Address re-usage is one of the common privacy issues of Bitcoin. Receiving multiple payments to a single address allows anyone who knows your address to track its balance and all related incoming and outgoing transactions. What’s worse is that even separate addresses in your wallet may become linked due to the way Bitcoin handles.
BTC economic activity is dominated by exchange trading. Bitcoin’s top use is remains speculative, and the mainstream use of BTC for everyday purchases is sporadic. Research shows that just over 1% of transactions relate to merchants, whereas speculation makes up the dominant use for Bitcoin.
Compared to any currency, share, or gold, bitcoin is extremely volatile. The volatility of bitcoin to US dollar is almost six times the volatility of the Rand to US dollar.
Despite the claim that bitcoin is a “global currency”, the reality is that half of all bitcoin mining happens in China. If at any point the Chinese government should decide to make Bitcoin mining illegal the price is likely to plunge into oblivion.
Despite of all disadvantages, Bitcoin is ( for now ) the undisputed king of Cryptocurrencies in terms of popularity and Market Capitalization. It is the most recognizable name of Cryptocurrency on the world also.
Bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet