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Bitcoin BTC

$50,936.00-0.39%
$51,965.03
$50,877.11
24H1W1M1Y5Y
Kraken Price Chart$52,000.00$51,500.00$51,000.00
4:00 PM8:00 PM12:00 AM4:00 AM8:00 AM12:00 PM
Price Change (24h)
-$198.93
Circulating Supply
19,690,892 BTC
Market Cap
$1,002,975,275,691

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Bitcoin (BTC) Price History

Bitcoin price moved -0.39% over the last 24 hours. The BTC to USD conversion rate is currently $50,936.00 per BTC and the circulating supply of Bitcoin is 19,690,892 BTC. Therefore, the current Bitcoin market cap is $1,002,975,275,691.

Over the last year, Bitcoin price is +112.01%. The highest price of BTC in the last year was $52,286.79 and the lowest price of BTC in the last year was $20,195.23.

3,392 BTC was purchased today on Kraken worth $172,757,231. Have you placed your BTC order yet? Buy & sell BTC with just a few clicks.

About Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin is the world's largest cryptocurrency project. The bitcoin (BTC) cryptocurrency was the first of its kind to be built on blockchain technology. Launched in 2009 by an anonymous developer under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin remains the most widely accepted and traded cryptocurrency today. Like the cryptocurrencies that followed it, Bitcoin was created to provide a decentralized electronic cash system that operates without the intervention of a centralized authority. A global team of developers constantly works on improving Bitcoin and its underlying technology.

What is Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin (BTC) is the world's first globally viable cryptocurrency built with blockchain technology.

Outlined in 2008 by an anonymous developer under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin remains the most widely accepted and traded cryptocurrency today.

Nakamoto conceived Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that had no need for a central authority or single administrator. A global team of developers continues to maintain and work on the improvement of the Bitcoin protocol.

 

Who created Bitcoin?

An unknown programmer published the Bitcoin white paper under the pseudonym "Satoshi Nakamoto'' in 2008. Satoshi Nakamoto may be an individual or a group of people.

Despite the widespread use and popularity of Bitcoin, the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains a mystery. Over the years, many people have claimed to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto, but none of them have been able to provide definitive evidence to support their claims.

Whoever Nakamoto is or was, they went to great lengths to remain anonymous. This mystery has helped increase the appeal of bitcoin as a global currency and fascination surrounding the origins of Bitcoin.

Those closely related to cryptography around the time of Bitcoin's conception remain the most prominent suspects. These include computer programmers Nick Szabo and the late Hal Finney.

Miners created the Bitcoin genesis block on January 3, 2009.

 

How does Bitcoin work?

The Bitcoin network is a decentralized virtual currency system that operates without a central bank, government authority, or middleman. Instead, it uses concepts from cryptography, computer science, and game theory to maintain a decentralized network of computers around the world that collectively uphold the integrity of the system.

This globally distributed community of nodes is what makes up the Bitcoin network. Each node plays an important role in helping to maintain the network and validate transactions. Because there are multiple copies of the Bitcoin blockchain spread across multiple nodes, there is no central authority that controls the blockchain.

Anyone in the world can run their own node and participate in managing the Bitcoin network. Every node maintains their own copy of the bitcoin blockchain, which is an unchangeable ledger of cryptocurrency transactions. 

Nodes store all transactions on a public ledger called the Bitcoin blockchain, which serves as a fully accessible, transparent database. This digital ledger stores all bitcoin transactions as well as user balances in the form of unspent transaction outputs, or UTXOs. Once the system writes something to the ledger, it is effectively permanent, since it can never be changed, only updated.

When someone sends Bitcoin to another person, the transaction is verified by a network of miners, which are computers that solve complex mathematical problems. This process ultimately helps to ensure the validity of information stored on the blockchain network. 

 

How is the Bitcoin network secured?

Bitcoin, and many other types of cryptocurrencies, borrows concepts from cryptograph, computer science, and game theory to operate the network. 

Cryptographic hash functions and the proof-of-work consensus mechanism are two of the most significant features that help to secure the Bitcoin network.

Bitcoin uses the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to validate transactions before they are permanently committed to the Bitcoin blockchain. PoW involves miners expelling computational resources to “prove” that “work” has gone into verifying transactions on the blockchain network. The protocol rewards the miner who proves the validity of a batch of transactions with newly created bitcoin. This process of distributing new bitcoin as a reward for validating new transactions takes place every ~10 minutes.

 

Bitcoin mining

The process of validating transactions on the blockchain by solving complex mathematical problems is called bitcoin mining. 

Crypto mining is critical to the Bitcoin network's security and integrity. Miners use specialized hardware and software to compete for the chance to solve a cryptographic puzzle and receive bitcoin in return. Once a block of transactions is verified, miners add it to the blockchain ledger, creating an unalterable record of all transactions on the network.

Although the solution to the problem is easy for anyone to check, finding the solution is computationally demanding and requires a significant amount of energy. This decentralized process is also designed to prevent fraudulent activities like the “double-spending” of the same coins. 

As more miners join the network, the difficulty of these mathematical problems increases, making it more difficult to earn rewards. 

The decentralized nature of the blockchain ledger also helps to enhance the security of the network. Nodes are distributed across the globe and maintain their own personal copy of the ledger. This important factor means there is no single point of failure. Even if 99% of nodes go down, a single node could recover the entire Bitcoin blockchain.

 

Bitcoin's energy consumption

The cost of the decentralization and security that the Bitcoin protocol offers is the computational power and energy the protocol consumes. This has caused some to raise concerns about Bitcoin’s long run sustainability and scalability, though many feel these factors are often misrepresented.

The specialized mining rigs used in the mining process consume electrical energy. Energy usage increases as more miners join the network because the difficulty to mine a block algorithmically increases as more hashing power joins the network. This, in turn, results in higher electricity costs for miners.

While bitcoin miners are incentivized to keep their costs down and therefore use renewable energy sources, the overall environmental impact of mining bitcoins is still widely scrutinized.

As demand for Bitcoin continues to grow, an increasing number of miners are finding more sustainable ways to power the mining process, reduce their carbon footprint, and minimize their environmental impact.

 

Bitcoin tokenomics

Tokenomics refers to the economic design behind how the cryptocurrency operates. This includes how many units of the asset will ever exist, as well as how those units enter circulation over time. 

Bitcoin enters circulation as a reward for miners proving the validity of new batches of transactions. Unlike traditional government currencies, which can be created at will and have an infinite supply, Bitcoin’s supply is limited to a hard cap of 21 million coins. 

A process called bitcoin halvings systematically reduces the block reward over time (by half) until all units of bitcoin are mined. 

This process is not deflationary, meaning that it does not remove bitcoin from circulation. However, each halving does taper down the amount of new coins entering into circulation. As rewards are cut in half every ~ four years, miners are expected to mine the last bitcoin in the year 2140.

 

How Bitcoin transactions work

Bitcoin transactions involve the transfer of digital currency ownership between two parties without the need for an intermediary.

When you send Bitcoin to someone, the transaction is broadcasted to the Bitcoin network. Miners compete against each other to verify and add the transaction to the blockchain, which is a public ledger that records all Bitcoin transactions. Bitcoin transaction fees are payments made by senders to miners. These fees serve as an incentive for miners to include the sender's transactions in the next block on the blockchain.

Once a miner validates the transaction, the recipient will then see the Bitcoin in their digital wallet balance. Bitcoin transactions are secure, fast, and transparent, making it an attractive option for cross-border payments.

The bitcoin blockchain is composed of blocks of transactions. The size of blocks limits the number of transactions that miners can process in each block. Larger block sizes enable miners to confirm more transactions at once. However, increasing block sizes also increases the computational power and storage requirements necessary to process each block.

 

How to store bitcoin

To send, receive or store Bitcoin, you need a digital wallet, also known as a crypto wallet. There are several different types of crypto wallets, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Popular bitcoin wallet options include desktop, mobile, online, and hardware wallets. Each offers unique features and security levels that help to keep your crypto safe.

Many feel that desktop wallets offer a higher level of security, while mobile wallets offer a greater level of convenience. Most online wallets are cloud-based, while hardware wallets store Bitcoin offline for maximum protection.

Broadly speaking, all types of bitcoin wallets can be broken down into two separate categories: hardware and software wallets.

 

Hardware wallet

A hardware cryptocurrency wallet (also known as a cold wallet) is a physical device that stores a user's private keys securely. Private keys are used to sign transactions and allow users to spend their bitcoins. Hardware wallets are considered one of the most secure ways to store bitcoin because they remain disconnected from the internet most of the time. This makes them less susceptible to hacking attempts.

A hardware wallet works by generating a private key that the device stores internally. A PIN protects the private key or password that only the user knows.

 

Software wallet

A software wallet (known as a hot wallet) is a digital wallet that stores your Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrency on a software platform. These wallets are typically free to download and easy to use.

People can access their software hot wallets through a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Software wallets are convenient because they allow you to access your Bitcoin from anywhere, as long as you have internet access. However, they are also more vulnerable to hacking and malware attacks, making them less secure than hardware wallets.

 

Who are the largest corporate holders of Bitcoin?

As of April 2023, the largest corporate holders of Bitcoin include MicroStrategy, Tesla (founded by Elon Musk), and Square. Many other companies and institutional investors have also invested in Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation and a potential store of value.

 

BTC vs ETH

Bitcoin and Ethereum are two popular decentralized digital currencies, but they differ in significant ways. Bitcoin is a digital currency designed for peer-to-peer transactions, though many use it as a speculative investment or store of value.

Ethereum, on the other hand, is a platform for building decentralized applications and deploying smart contracts.

While Bitcoin uses a proof-of-work consensus algorithm to validate transactions, Ethereum has now transitioned to a proof-of-stake algorithm in a process known as The Ethereum Merge. The Merge aimed to lay the foundation for improvements for Ethereum’s energy efficiency and scalability. 

Compared to Bitcoin, Ethereum also has a more extensive range of programming languages and tools for developers to create decentralized applications.

 

Bitcoin markets

The Bitcoin market is a part of the larger crypto market, where cryptocurrencies compete for dominance. Bitcoin is considered the crypto market standard, with the largest market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies.

The bitcoin market can be influenced by investor sentiment, leading to bullish or bearish trends.

Market participants include traders, investors, and institutions. Over the years, the rise in institutional involvement means Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly relevant in financial markets. Today, investors can speculate on the price of bitcoin using financial derivatives such as futures contracts and other types of crypto derivatives.

Understanding market trends and developments is essential for anyone looking to invest or trade in the crypto market.

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Content provided herein may originate from third parties not associated with Payward Ventures, Inc. (D/B/A Kraken) or any of its subsidiaries. Kraken does not vouch for or take responsibility for such third-party content. These materials are for general information purposes only and are not investment advice or a recommendation or solicitation to buy, sell, stake or hold any cryptoasset or to engage in any specific trading strategy. Any reliance on this content is at the reader’s own risk. Kraken shall not be held liable for inaccuracies or any decisions made based on this content. Kraken does not endorse nor validate the accuracy of the information provided for any specific asset. Displayed prices are merely representative and the actual values and related data may differ. The unpredictable nature of the cryptoasset markets can lead to loss of funds.

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