Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Bitcoin?
A: Bitcoin is a digital money that has no central servers or access permissions. Instead it is a highly inclusive, voluntary money that any person can use simply by downloading the software on readily available consumer hardware. People can broadcast transactions to the network at any time as long as they pay a fee and other merchants can accept and verify payment in bitcoin as valid by referencing their own software. All merchants stay in sync with each other by updating their software according to merchant who provably earned the right through mining.
Q: What is Bitcoin Mining?
A: Bitcoin mining is the system that keeps all merchants on the network in consensus with each other since there is no central server to do this job. Simply trusting each other does not work because trust inevitably breaks down and leads to disputes. So instead merchants engage in a contest to update the network by seeing who can do the most work by using computational power. Any dispute that may occur is simply settled by additional computational power - so basically whoever invests in the most work and takes the most risk gets rewarded.
Successful miners not only get to update everyone's ledger with the newest block of transactions, but the miner also wins all of the fees associated with the transactions in the block! In this way the people using bitcoin and paying for transaction confirmation are paying miners to invest in computational power. This synergy is what makes bitcoin tick.
Q: Why do people like bitcoin?
A: People like bitcoin because the network of merchants using it can make and receive payments with ultra high settlement reliability. The money itself is very difficult to dilute or debase due to its counterfeit resistance properties, it even beats out gold in this regard! Generally bitcoin has performed very well as a savings vehicle precisely because of the utility of the money. It transcends state borders and unlike sovereign fiat money it does not suffer from arbitrary, unpredictable monetary supply changes which devalue the work people have invested to earn the money. For these, and many other reasons, bitcoin is a highly sought after money.
Q: Is Bitcoin secure?
A: Any merchant accepting bitcoin as payment can run the bitcoin software, commonly called a 'full node', which accounts for all transactions on the network. Each merchant is able to verify for themselves if the bitcoin received is valid on their own ledger. The more time that passes after a payment is first confirmed, the less chance the payment will be counterfeit. In this way the merchant can ensure the payment is settled simply by giving it time to confirm.
If the payment received is very large, maybe the merchant is selling an expensive good, then they can ensure the validity by and the longer they wait the higher the probabl and not counterfeit and bitcoin miners keep everyone updated and in sync. Each person validating their own transaction always updates their ledger according to the order that bitcoin miners arrange . You see to participate the means in which
Q: How much power can I generate from my natural gas?
A: Please see our 'basic mining calculator' download.