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What is Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin?

Before we can discuss cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, we must first understand the underlying technology upon which they're built upon, blockchain. Blockchain is simply a normal accounting ledger that is stored digitally across multiple machines. Each machine holds the exact same copy of the ledger and compares it with each other every time there's an addition to the ledger. Each copy of the ledger must remain the same during this process and those who do not are considered outliers. Through this way, the ledgers pick the copies with the majority rule; meaning, if 51% of the machines have one result while 49% have the other, the 51% is considered to be right and all the machines are updated to suit. Another key factor of the technology is that once a record has been added to the ledger, it can never be deleted again and that each machine that is a part of the blockchain are individuals who use their machines computational power to secure these records in cryptographic hashes and are paid for it with tokens or coins.

What is a blockchain?

A blockchain is a decentralized digital ledger which is shared between every node on the network. For a device to become a node on a blockchain, a user must acquire that blockchain's token on the device so that it can be recognized as such and then be a part of the digital ledger. This ledger stores all of the data on each node across the system in such a way that it is all immutable; that is, it can never be modified or deleted. This process occurs simultaneously on all the machines on the network by having them solve a mathematical cryptographic puzzle which is heavy on the machine's computational power and can take a significant time to complete. This is the process which is called mining and a machine which is used for this is called a miner. Miners are typically in competition with each other to completely mine the transaction first as its only that miner who is rewarded with more tokens for completing the task. This is what has led to the cost of computer components costing so much as the demand for better hardware for miners has increased the price. One of the most popular of blockchains right now is the Bitcoin blockchain which functions as a cryptocurrency with a public digital ledger and was one of the very first to do this.