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Bitcoin (BTC)

What is Bitcoin?

btc-bitcoin-logoBitcoin is the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, operating on decentralized blockchain technology. Unlike traditional currencies, it isn't controlled by any government or central bank. Each Bitcoin (BTC) is divisible and its smallest unit is a Satoshi. Bitcoin is valued for its security, limited supply, and growing acceptance as a medium of exchange.

A decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has inspired a new wave of financial innovation and continues to redefine the business landscape across the globe.

What was Bitcoin started?

Bitcoin, the world's first cryptocurrency, was conceived during the 2008 global financial crisis as an alternative to traditional banking systems.

The Bitcoin network came into existence on January 3, 2009, with the mining of the first block, known as the Genesis Block or Block 0. Encoded in this block was a newspaper headline from that day: "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks."

Throughout 2009 and early 2010, Bitcoin was primarily a niche interest among cryptography enthusiasts. It had no monetary value and was exchanged on a peer-to-peer network for fun or to test the system. The first real-world transaction took place on May 22, 2010, when programmer Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 Bitcoins for two pizzas, an event now celebrated as Bitcoin Pizza Day.

Who Created Bitcoin?

Bitcoin was created by an individual or group under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Launched in 2009, Bitcoin's creation marks the beginning of the decentralized blockchain revolution. The true identity of Satoshi remains one of the greatest mysteries in the tech world.

Who Owns Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency without a single owner. It's owned by the collective network of its users. Bitcoin's decentralized nature means that no individual, corporation, or government can claim ownership over the network as a whole. This contrasts with traditional currencies, which are controlled by specific countries or institutions.

To view the Bitcoin code repository, check here.

How Does Bitcoin Work?

Bitcoin transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded on a public ledger called the blockchain. This decentralized ledger ensures transparency and security. 

Looking at it closer, Bitcoin uses a UTXO model for tracking wallet balances. UTXO stands for Unspent Transaction Output. In the context of Bitcoin, a transaction output is an amount of bitcoin that a user sends to another. When this output has not been spent or used in a new transaction, it is referred to as an Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO).

When a bitcoin transaction is made, it consumes one or more UTXOs and generates new ones. For example, if Alice sends 1 bitcoin to Bob, the transaction will consume one of Alice's UTXOs and generate a new UTXO for Bob.

If Alice has no single UTXO with exactly 1 bitcoin, she can use a larger UTXO, for example, 1.5 bitcoin. In this case, the transaction will consume Alice's 1.5 bitcoin UTXO and create two new ones: a 1 bitcoin UTXO for Bob and a 0.5 bitcoin UTXO (minus transaction fees) for Alice as change.

UTXO is a fundamental aspect of how the Bitcoin network operates, enabling secure and transparent transactions. As Bitcoin continues to evolve and be adopted, Cybrid is helping empower businesses with UTXO MPC wallets and onramp/offramp for BTC.

How Many Satoshis in a Bitcoin?

A single Bitcoin is divisible into 100 million smaller units known as satoshis, named after Bitcoin's pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. This divisibility allows for microtransactions and adjusts for the digital currency's potential growth in value. Understanding satoshis is essential for transactions and trading, as they represent the smallest unit of Bitcoin.

How to Buy Bitcoin

For businesses to buy and sell Bitcoin, you can use Cybrid's platform. Cybrid provides a seamless interface for purchasing Bitcoin, ensuring a secure and efficient transaction process. Our platform is tailored for both beginners and experienced users in the cryptocurrency market.

How can I accept Bitcoin payments?

To accept Bitcoin as payment, you can use Cybrid's Bitcoin API gateway. We provide APIs and UI components that you can easily integrate to enable Bitcoin payments.

If you're less technical, we can also can create personalized payment portals to empower your business to accept BTC payments.

How Do You Mine Bitcoin?

Mining Bitcoin involves solving complex computational problems to validate transactions and secure the Bitcoin network. Miners use powerful hardware to compete in verifying transactions and are rewarded in Bitcoin for their efforts. This process, known as proof-of-work, is crucial for the decentralized and secure nature of Bitcoin.

For Bitcoin miners looking to access Bitcoin liquidity to buy and sell, contact our Sales department for further information.

What is the Bitcoin halving event?

The Bitcoin halving cycle, often referred to as "the halvening," is a key component of Bitcoin's underlying protocol. This event, which occurs approximately every four years, reduces the reward for mining new blocks by 50%.

Bitcoin's halving cycle is built into its code and takes place every 210,000 blocks until the maximum supply of 21 million bitcoins has been mined. At Bitcoin's launch in 2009, the block reward was 50 bitcoins. The first halving occurred in 2012, reducing the reward to 25 bitcoins. The second and third halvings took place in 2016 and 2020, respectively, further reducing the block reward to 12.5 and then 6.25 bitcoins.

The halving cycle is a critical aspect of Bitcoin's economic policy, designed to create scarcity and control inflation. By periodically reducing the rate at which new bitcoins are created, the halving ensures that Bitcoin's supply will increase at a predictable and decreasing rate until it reaches its maximum limit.

When is the Next Bitcoin Halving?

Bitcoin halving occurs approximately every four years. The next halving is projected to occur around 2024, which will further limit the new supply of Bitcoin, potentially impacting its market value.

There are many tools available to track the Bitcoin halving countdown. Check out CoinGecko's page here.

How does Bitcoin upgrade?

Bitcoin, as a decentralized network, relies on a consensus-based process for implementing protocol upgrades. This process is designed to ensure that all stakeholders, including developers, miners, node operators, and users, have a say in the network's evolution.

1- Proposal: The upgrade process begins with the proposal of a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP). This is a design document providing information to the Bitcoin community about a proposed change to the system. The BIP describes the technical details of the proposed change, its potential impact, and the reasons for implementing it.

2- Review and Discussion: Once a BIP is proposed, it undergoes rigorous review and discussion by the Bitcoin community. Developers, miners, and users evaluate the proposal, weighing its potential benefits against potential risks. This stage may result in revisions to the BIP to address concerns or improve its functionality.

3- Coding: If the BIP is accepted, developers begin the task of writing the code that will implement the upgrade. This code is then thoroughly tested to ensure it functions as expected and doesn't introduce new vulnerabilities.

4- Implementation: After the code is written and tested, it's incorporated into the Bitcoin Core software, which is distributed to nodes and miners across the network. However, the upgrade doesn't take effect immediately. It typically includes a 'flag day' or a miner signaling process, where a supermajority of miners need to signal their readiness for the upgrade.

5- Activation: The final stage of the process is activation. If a supermajority of miners signal their support for the upgrade (as was the case with the SegWit and Taproot upgrades), the upgrade is activated and becomes part of the Bitcoin protocol. If the required level of support isn't achieved, the upgrade is not activated.

This process is intentionally slow and cautious, prioritizing the network's security and stability over rapid innovation. It ensures that every upgrade is thoroughly reviewed and tested, and that the broader Bitcoin community supports it. The Bitcoin upgrade process is a testament to the power of decentralized consensus in maintaining and improving a robust, secure network.

What is the Bitcoin Lightning Network?

The Lightning Network is an layer-2 (L2) solution built for Bitcoin, to help with scaling and block congestion on the main network. Cybrid does support transactions on Bitcoin's L2 network by providing onramp and offramp services, and the ability to execute Lightning invoices. To read more about the Lightning Network, please visit our Learn article

What are the Bitcoin upgrades?

In 2017, Bitcoin received SegWit. The concept of SegWit revolves around the way information—or more specifically, 'witness' data—is stored in Bitcoin transactions. In a Bitcoin transaction, the 'witness' data, which proves the ownership of the sender's bitcoins, tends to occupy a significant amount of space in a block. SegWit's solution is to 'segregate' or separate this witness data from the transaction data. This segregation effectively reduces the size of transaction data, allowing more transactions to fit into a block, thereby increasing the overall transaction capacity of the Bitcoin network.

In 2021, Bitcoin received the Taproot upgrade. Activated on November 14, 2021, the Taproot upgrade is one of the most significant enhancements to the Bitcoin network in recent years. Proposed by Bitcoin Core developer Pieter Wuille, the Taproot upgrade aims to improve Bitcoin's privacy, scalability, and capacity for complex transactions and tokenization.

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