Bitcoin is the first truly decentralised currency and has paved the way for hundreds more to compete together in Cipherspace over the coming years. This is one of the key factors in the transition of global society into the post-nation-state economy talked about in books like The Sovereign Individual and which is coming to be known by agorists as The Second Realm.
The value of the bitcoin approximately depends on the size of the network, and essentially gives you a 1 / 21000000 share in the value that can come out of this network and its ability to facilitate trade. When gold was the dominant currency, it seemed that it represented physical value while bitcoin is a looking glass that shows us what money really is: social value.
Bitcoin is the first online currency to solve the so-called “double spending” problem without resorting to a third-party intermediary. The key is distributing the database of transactions across a peer-to-peer network. This allows a record to be kept of all transfers, so the same cash can’t be spent twice–because it’s distributed (a lot like BitTorrent), there’s no central authority. This makes digital bitcoins like cash dollars or euros: Hand them over directly to a payee, and you don’t have them any more, all without the help of a third party.
- 1 How it works
- 2 Bitcoin stats, charts & tools
- 3 Work for Bitcoins
- 4 Other projects on the blockchain
- 5 Further reading on bitcoin
- 6 Economics & Liberty articles
- 7 Other sites about Bitcoin
- 8 How bitcoin can help the world
- 9 Interesting articles about Bitcoin
- 10 Related news
- 11 Segwit2X and BCash
- 12 Craig Wright throws in the towel (but not really, unfortunately he came back)
- 13 See also
- 14 Attachments
How it works
In the case of a p2p currency system, some of the services the network is designed to offer are privacy, verification, authentication, currency creation and transfer of ownership. To ensure a reliable and tamper-proof system requires a lot of resource, and that amount is proportional to the amount of coins in the network. The network is able to pay the users for the resource they offer by making the coin-creation process part of the network protocol itself instead of being handled by a central trusted authority. This creates a natural and incorruptible link between the supply of currency in the network and the demand for it.
Even aside from the ability to exchange bitcoins for other currencies, it still makes a very useful tool for independent organisations and groups because it allows them to trade and settle accounts amongst themselves independently and privately. It effectively gives them a "bank" that has a trustworthy system of accounts that can't be tampered with and requires no corruptible central authority to operate. See the following links for more detailed information about how it works.
- The Bitcoin Whitepaper - the original paper by Satoshi Nakamoto (you may want to learn about hashing before reading this)
- The Satoshi Nakamoto Institute
- Cartoon explanation of how it works
- Video about how it works for beginners
- Bitcoin - P2P currency for Bezadis - good Prezi about bitcoin
Bitcoin Weekly's "What Bitcoin Is"
- What Bitcoin Is, and Why It Matters - article in Technology Review, published by MIT press
- What is Bitcoin? (YouTube)
- Stefan Molyneux on RT: Bitcoins: digital currency of the future? - a very nice layman's explanation of Bitcoin
Good article about how it works for the general public- register or pay or something
- How Bitcoin works under the hood
- How the Bitcoin protocol actually works - starting from the real basics
- Bitcoin Wiki technical category
- Transactions explained in detail (video - 2 parts)
- Blocks explained in detail (video)
A scalability roadmap The math behind bitcoin
- Good reading list by [https://twitter.com/NickSzabo4 Nick Szabo
Bitcoin was born on January 3rd, 2009, at 6:15PM Greenwich Mean Time, which is when Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first 50 coins, known as the "genesis block."
- How Segregated Witness works - segregated witness is a new potential addition to the bitcoin protocol to increase security and scalability (part 1 of 3)
- Segregated Witness FAQ
- Understanding change addresses
- Transaction malleability explained
The Bitcoin Wallet
The term "wallet" is actually a little bit misleading because the information representing coins and transactions are actually stored throughout the entire network (in the blockchain), not in the wallets. The wallet actually stores private keys that give the wallet-holder the ability to spend coins in the network that are confirmed as being currently associated with one of your private keys. A bitcoin address that you show to other people in order for them to send you money is the public half of one of the private keys in your wallet.
This means that it's very important to back up your wallet and to remember the password you've locked it with, because if you lost access to your wallet you'd no longer have control over any of the coins in the network that are associated with your addresses. You must back up your wallet whenever you create a new address, but there's no need to back up your wallet every time you receive new coins, because these are not stored in your wallet. For example, you could have a bitcoin wallet on a computer that's never been connected to the network and be paid into that wallets address for years before you got around to connecting it and checking your balance.
Note: these days there are deterministic wallets available which allow you to backup your wallet with a single password or phrase, and you don't need to create a new backup even when new addresses are created in your wallet.
- Our current favourite deterministic wallets are Electrum for BTC only and Exodus for multi-currency
- 6 things you should know about bitcoin private keys
- Paper wallet - how to store your wallet information on paper
- Migrating your wallet from Bitcoin-qt to Multibit
- Wallet do's & don'ts
Bitcoin stats, charts & tools
- BlockChain.info - charts, statistics and block explorer for the bitcoin blockchain
- BitEasy - another good block explorer
- Statoshi.info - realtime bitcoin node stats
- BitcoinFees.21.co - good fee/delay prediction chart
- BTC.com/stats - good selection of stats including optimal fee
- BrainWallet - make paper wallets, sign and verify messages and more (see also bitcoin.com message verification)
- BitcoinWisdom - awesome chart service covering many currencies and exchanges
- CryptoWatch - another excellent chart
- Bitcoin Analytics - excellent charts and reports
- Bitcoinity - excellent real-time price charts
- World map of recent transactions
- Global Bitcoin Nodes - graphical display of the distribution of nodes
- Coinometrics - really high-level analysis of the bitcoin economy
- Bitcoin Watch
- Fiat Leak - realtime map showing fiat currencies moving in to the Bitcoin economy
- Coin.Dance - which nodes are running core or which fork
- BitInfoCharts.com - good stats over all time and many coins
- Bitcoin market-cap to transaction value indicates that the mid-2017 "bubble" is no bubble
- Chart showing mid-2017 Alt-coin rise corresponding to Bitcoin scaling trouble
- BTC fork monitor
- Many charts including segwit percentage
Percentage of segwit transactions per block SegWit transaction percentage
- Bech32 statistics
- Lightning Network explorer - explanation here
- 3D lightning viewer
- BitcoinAverage - historical bitcoin prices across multiple currencies
- p2sh.info - stats on bitcoin transactions types including segwit usage
- Johoe's Bitcoin Mempool Statistics
Work for Bitcoins
- 21.co earn bitcoin for performing small tasks
- ChronoBank - this could be the new decentralised "upwork" when it gets going
- MaidSafe code bounty - offering $20/hr in bitcoin
- Ethereum bug bounty
- Coinality - this seems not to really be much to do with bitcoin...?
Jobs4Bitcoins CodeForBitcoins Bitlancerr BitcoinJobs
- BitWage - get your job payments in Bitcoin, very good for international contractors
Other projects on the blockchain
It has been a hot debate for years amongst the bitcoin developers as to whether or not the blockchain should allow the storage of data not related specifically to bitcoins. Even Satoshi himself weighed in on this debate saying that,
|Piling every proof-of-work quorum system in the world into one dataset doesn't scale. Bitcoin and BitDNS can be used separately. Users shouldn't have to download all of both to use one or the other. BitDNS users may not want to download everything the next several unrelated networks decide to pile in either.|
|— Satoshi Nakamoto|
Eventually projects started to store custom data in the blockchain in exotic ways which began to bloat the blockchain, so the developers in mid 2014 added the OP_RETURN opcode to the official set of executable codes which allows 40 bytes of custom data to be added to transactions. With OP_RETURN, Bitcoin's long-running debate over acceptable uses of the block chain has received some much needed clarity. Applications can now inexpensively add a 40 byte data payload to transactions using the OP_RETURN script function. On a technical level, OP_RETURN doesn't enable anything that wasn't previously possible. Instead, OP_RETURN provides a standard interface through which new services can potentially be layered onto the block chain, and a central point of focus for future work on integration tools.
Here's a list of various projects and ideas that extend the functionality available in the blockchain.
- The Mega Master Blockchain List...
- Eltoo - a simple layer2 protocol for Bitcoin
- How to make a distributed escrow service - a comment by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2010 from the Bitcoin forum
- Plato re using OT instead of increasing the block size
- About Side-chains
- Improvement proposals
- Smart property
- Distributed contracts
- KeyBase.io - KeyBase is a people directory, see also the KeyBase FS
- Bitbills - the first and only bitcoins in physical form.
- BitcoinX - extending the blockchain to exchange many asset types using coloured coins
- btcwire - the bitcoin wire protocol package from btcd
- PeerCover - bitcoin-based insurance project at BitcoinStarter]
- BlockSign - sign legal documents on the block chain
- Silent Vault - using voucher-safe to make bitcoin anonymous
- BitNation - governance on the blockchain - still going, but all the developers quit :-(
- Counterparty - a platform for free and open financial tools on the Bitcoin network
- Proof of existence & OpenTimestamps
- CoinSpark - distributed asset ledger using coloured coins
- Chain - some kind of API for building apps on the blockchain
- BlockStack - fast, secure, and easy-to-use DNS, PKI, and identity management on the blockchain
- OneName - used to be on namecoin's blockchain, but now on bitcoin using BlockStack
- BlockchainAuth - allows universal login with your OneName/BlockStack profile
- Keyhotee - user authentication
- Bitmessage - email/messaging
- OpenBazaar - commerce/trade
- Twister - distributed twitter
- okTurtles - distributed solution to SSL certificate authorities
- Distributed crowd-funding
- Decentral Bank - bringing bitcoin 2.0 to modern banking
- Factom White Paper Outlines Record Keeping Layer Above Bitcoin
- Ledra Capital list of possible blockchain apps...
- BlockStore - a datastore using bitcoin's blockchain and a DHT
- RootStock - smart contracts for Bitcoin using 2-way pegged non-speculative RSK
Further reading on bitcoin
- The Nakamoto Institute
- The clear divisions on Bitcoin - Blogdial, June 22, 2011
- Another Take on Bitcoins - Gary Kinghorn, June 22, 2011
- A Bit of Sound Money: Free Banking or 100% Reserve Banking - Theodore Phalan, June 21, 2011
- Bitcoin's Value is Decentralization - Paul Bohm, June 17, 2011
- The Economics Of Bitcoin – Why Mainstream Economists Lie About Deflation, Michael Suede, June 11, 2011
- Bitcoin and the Denationalisation of Money - C. Harwick, June 8, 2011
- Bitcoin - a moeda na era digital - excellent book about Bitcoin by Fernando Ulrich
Economics & Liberty articles
- Bernard Lietaer's "Internet Currencies for Virtual Communities"
- The Real Problem With Digital Currencies and Privacy - by Anthony Freedman
- Further Observations on Bitcoin, Digital Currencies, Privacy and Liberty - by Anthony Freedman
- The Coming Attack On Bitcoin And How To Survive It - by Anthony Freedman
- The Economics Of Bitcoin – Challenging Mises’ Regression Theorem - by michaelsuede
- What gave bitcoin its value? - bitcoin satisfies all of Mises' criteria
- A Magna Carta for Bitcoin
Other sites about Bitcoin
- The Satoshi Nakamoto Institute
- BitcoinFilm.org - a short documentary about Bitcoin in Argentina
- The Bitcoin List
- Bitcoin Magazine - excellent articles on Bitcoin
- Bitcoin Bytes
- The Bitcoin Review
- MyBitcoin.com - an easy to use online Bitcoin interface and free shopping cart for websites
- Bitcoin wiki - a MediaWiki for Bitcoin
- Bitmit - an online auction using bitcoin for the currency
- Bitcoin Wiki - Trade page which lists services that accept Bitcoin
- Cash n' carry Bitcoin
- We Love Bitcoins
- List of Major Bitcoin Heists, Thefts, Hacks, Scams, and Losses
- AmpedMarket - a secure, anonymous marketplace integrated with the Bitcoin currency base on BitWasp
- BitPay - the "PayPal" of Bitcoin?
- Coin Market
- btcwire - the bitcoin wire protocol package from btcd
- Bitcoin Myths
- BadBitcoin - the bitcoin scams directory!
- Jameson Lopp's bitcoin page
How bitcoin can help the world
- Bitcoin Neutrality - great lecture on Bitcoin by Andreas Antonopoulos
- Bitcoin Is the Solution to the Military Industrial Complex
- Bitcoin Can Fix Broken US Non-Profits
Interesting articles about Bitcoin
- Post-Bitcoin-Maximalism: A call for embracing the currency competition
- On the crypto market cycles - see also this one on momentum too
- Good overview of the various bitcoin privacy options upcoming and available - by Aaron van Wirdum
- Tthe very first blockchain was the New York Times! - about the Haber and Stornetta references in the whitepaper
- Bitmain: IPO and Technical Challenges
- Uncovering the cartel of Bitcoin - very well researched piece on the connections between the big players in crypto
- The bitcoin patent-war and the BDPL
- The truth about r/bitcoin and r/btc
- Not all post-2011 Satoshi appearances have been debunked
- Satoshi was a genius, but he was not a mathematician
- Some clarity on hoarding and spending and what it means for bitcoin - why HODL is good for a currency
- p.s. WTF is HODL anyway?!
- Beautyon breaks down the recent EU attack on bitcoin - p.s. the vegetarian being anti-bitcoin bit is a joke
- Great article on crypto, freedom and government hostility
- Debunking three misconceptions about Segwit
- JekyllCoin - are the banksters using the Nov HF to try and take over Bitcoin?
- Tumblebit vs CoinJoin - good article about the various privacy mechanisms
- The Bitcoin core merge process
- The quiet exile of Gavin Andresen
- UASF: User-driven protocol development
- The mining delusion
- What is ASICBOOST?
- Understanding Bitcoin Unlimited, and see also How BU users may end up on different chains
- Excellent analysis of bitcoin volatility
- A primer on bitcoin governance - why developers aren't in charge of the protocol
- Classic? Unlimited? XT? Core? - Gavin Andresen talks about why he's working on all these diverse bitcoin forks
- Why Bitcoin’s Core Developers Want Multiple Versions
- Why Brazil’s Bitcoin Market is Struggling to Ignite
- Who's Afraid of the Workers' Revolution? - the backlash against the sharing economy has begun, by Jeffrey Tucker
- Bitcoin in the Philippines: A Perfect Cryptocurrency Storm
- The man who really built bitcoin - history of Satoshi and Gavin Andresen
- Decent decentralisation - bitcoin alone is not the answer
- Those who use the work of Mises to challenge bitcoin should think again - by Jeffrey Tucker
- SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert: Banks can't ignore bitcoin anymore
- The rise and fall of the world's largest bitcoin exchange
- Bitcoin and Intrinsic Value: a Layman’s Response to Alan Greenspan
- The Daily Value Of Bitcoin Transactions Has Passed Western Union's And It's Catching Up To Paypal's
- 10 Reasons Why The Value Of Bitcoin Is Skyrocketing
- Why You Should Care About Bitcoin - money is going digital and it is impacting the biggest growth industry of the past 75 years
- Why won’t Bitcoin die? - The virtual currency has had many near-death experiences in its short four year life, but it just keeps bouncing back
- DEFCON 19: Hacking the Global Economy with GPUs - or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Bitcoin - very informative talk about recent Bitcoin events
- Cleaning up the Bitcoin act
- The 10 Most Anticipated Bitcoin Projects for 2012
- The History of Gold and the Future of Bitcoin - "if the subjective theory of value means anything, 'unique cryptographic hash' is not inherently less valuable than 'shiny rock', even if it has no representation in physical space. Each has only the value that people give to it."
- Will Draconian Controls Drive Bitcoin Adoption?
- Engineering the Bitcoin Gold Rush - an Interview with Yifu Guo, Creator of the First ASIC-Based Miner
- The Eye of Sauron Has Spotted Bitcoin
- The future of Bitcoin - excellent article on the past and future of bitcoin as of 2013
- Barons of Bitcoin: the Tokyo-based powerhouse that controls the world's virtual money
- Bitcoin Lied, Confirmed Transactions Died - all about the blockchain fork that occurred between versions 0.7 and 0.8
- Why do VC's care about Bitcoin?
- Bubble or No, This Virtual Currency Is a Lot of Coin in Any Realm
- Bitcoins or Gold?
- WeBank - Report organised by Nesta and OpenBusiness.cc about P2P finance
- Bitcoin's Liquidity: A Third Look
- How to counterfeit Bitcoins - not!
- Bitcoin - Cyber Death of the Banking Industry
- I Tried Hacking Bitcoin And I Failed - Dan Kaminsky on Bitcoin
- The Great Gold vs Bitcoin Debate: Casey vs Matonis
- Wikipedia:History of Bitcoin
- Tax attorney's answers to tax questions about Bitcoin
- Bitcloud - ambitious ideas about replacing the internet
- Teenage hacker creates next-gen crypto-platform
- Bitcoin Is Not Quantum-Safe
- Longterm Technical Analysis of the Bitcoin Price
- Fernando Ulrich - is driving the cryptocurrency bandwagon in Brazil and the Portuguese-speaking world
- Bitcoin Transaction Volume Soon to Surpass PayPal
- Developers Battle Over Bitcoin Block Chain
- BitScan articles
- 'Bitcoin Jesus' calls the rich to a tax-free paradise
- Bitcoin Is Not Quantum-Safe, And How We Can Fix It When Needed
- Multisig: A Revolution Incomplete - by Vitalik Buterin
- Bitcoin, the US Constitution, and One Man’s Crusade
- Satoshi’s Genius: Unexpected Ways in which Bitcoin Dodged Some Cryptographic Bullets - 2013 article by Vitalik Buterin
- The original 10,000 bitcoin pizza thread :-)
- 03 Jan 2019: Happy Birthday Bitcoin!!! - the genesis block was created 10 years ago today!
- 14 Aug 2018: Trouble re Bitmain's IPO? - Bitmain's BTC and BCH holdings freak investors
- 07 Jul 2018: Wasabi wallet alpha released - strong provacy for bitcoin almost landed
- 19 Jun 2018: Some clarity on the Tether fiasco & Tether Review Claims Crypto Asset Fully Backed – But There's a Catch
- 02 Jan 2018: BulletProofs could make bitcoin privacy less costly
- 20 Dec 2017: Coinbase and Bitcoin Cash Scheme Damages Trust in Cryptocurrency
- 09 Dec 2017: New CME Bitcoin Futures And The Goldman Sachs Connection
- 06 Dec 2017: Lightning network protocol compatibility achieved!
- 29 Nov 2017: BTC shoots past $10,000 today!
- 23 Aug 2017: The long road to SegWit - SegWit activated today, here's a brief history of how it came about
- 15 Jul 2017: Bitcoin core dev Luke Dashjr examines segwit2x code and reports his findings in plain English
- 03 Jul 2017: Countdown to segwit - key dates to keep an eye on
- 22 May 2017: ShaolinFry on the recent Silbert scaling agreement
- 08 Apr 2017: The Latest Twist to the Block Size Debate Is Called a "UASF" - see also Shaolin Fry's discussion thread on BitcoinDev
- 29 Mar 2017: Bitcoin Unlimited Miners May Be Preparing a 51% Attack on Bitcoin
- 20 Jan 2017: Why Financial Privacy Is About More Than Using Bitcoin to Buy Drugs on the Internet
- 14 Jan 2017: China's largest bitcoin exchanges suddenly suspend margin trading
- 01 Jan 2017: BTC over $1,000 again - first time since December 2013!!!
- 26 Oct 2016: TumbleBit - a mixing protocol that extends CoinSwap (paper, code, TumbleWallet)
- 28 Sep 2016: Bitcoin Returns to Its Cypherpunk Roots: An Interview With Lupták and Sip of Hackers Congress Paralelní Polis
- 25 Aug 2016: Bitcoin Privacy Tool "CoinShuffle" Sees First Transaction
- 24 Jun 2016: Segregated Witness next steps
- 08 Jun 2016: About BIP 151 - encrypting traffic between nodes
- 05 Mar 2016: Bitcoin! Keep Calm And RBF/CPFP On!
- 02 Mar 2016: Bitcoin core upgrade leaves many transactions, even from exchanges, in limbo due to fee too low!
- 26 Feb 2016: How to implement secure bitcoin vaults
- 26 Feb 2016: The first successful Zero-Knowledge Contingent Payment
- 23 Feb 2016: BTCC COO talks about the road ahead - whew, looks like all the hostile takeovers are finally history!
- 14 Jan 2016: A Bitcoin Believer’s Crisis of Faith - Mike Hearn leaves bitcoin core development and slams the door on the way out
- More to this than meets the eye? - point-by-point refutation of Hearn's departing rant
- Github comments re Hearn's Tor blacklist commit - looks very similar to Wikipedia talk pages responding to corporate vandals
- GCHQ too?!
- Very good analysis of the classic/core dichotomy, and a likely lay of the land if classic succeeds
Segwit2X and BCash
- Even if it happened, it wouldna!
- 2X postmortem by Jimmy Song
- RIP 2X!!!
- Debunking misconceptions about segwit
- Blockstream's debunking
- Why the Brazilian and Argentinian Bitcoin communities oppose SegWit2x
- BHB official statement on 2X
- Bitcoin core dev Luke Dashjr examines segwit2x code and reports his findings in plain English
- Core correcting misleading statements by segwit2X
- International communities against 2X
- Iam Grigg on Segwit
- What is BCash?
- BTC vc BCH
- Big-block problem in a nutshell
Craig Wright throws in the towel (but not really, unfortunately he came back)
I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot.
When the rumors began, my qualifications and character were attacked. When those allegations were proven false, new allegations have already begun. I know now that I am not strong enough for this.
I know that this weakness will cause great damage to those that have supported me, and particularly to Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen. I can only hope that their honour and credibility is not irreparably tainted by my actions. They were not deceived, but I know that the world will never believe that now. I can only say I’m sorry.And goodbye.
|— Dr. Craig Wright|
- What Happens When ANONYMOUS Gets A Bank?
- The War on Digital Currency
- FellowTraveler on Github - developer of Open-Transactions (bitcoin / voucher-safe integration)
- AgoristRadio.com w/ Justin of Voucher-Safe - Bitcoin & Voucher-safe
- libbitcoin - a bitcoin library targeted towards high end use. The library places a heavy focus around asychronicity.
- Bitcoin Isis portal on Osiris
- Alan Szepieniec Presents Bitcoin at Polish Mises Institute - In a step ahead of their U.S. namesake, the Polish Ludwig von Mises Institute hosted Alan Szepieniec to present bitcoin during the 2011 Summer Seminar in Warsaw.
- Must money be backed by gold?
- Peer to peer
- Using MultiBit to buy online with a Bitcoin swatch
- Bitcoin cash-mobbing
- Tonika - social routing with organic security
- Random numbers, Encryption and Hashing
- How Digicash blew everything
- Wikimedia's lame reason for not accepting bitcoin
- BitcoinTalk - PirateAt40 money laundering 2012
- BitcoinTalk - Bitcoin marked for deletion on Wikipedia 2010
- transactions to our address
- Bitcoin card
- Bitcoin Privacy Extension to Have Backdoor for Government Snooping?
- RushWallet Delivers Fast, Frictionless and Login-Free Bitcoin Wallets
- The Sidechains whitepaper
- Inside a Chinese Bitcoin mine, and page 2
- Edward Snowden's Bitcoin address
- Quick instructions on how to create a vanity address by Bitcoin Goddess
- Original bitcoin.org page from web archive
- Message from Satoshi in Aug 2015?
- Online transaction systems
- Digital economy