Bitcoin and How It All Began
Bitcoin (₿) is a cryptocurrency. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.
Bitcoin was invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto and started in 2009 when its source code was released as open-source software. Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. (Source: wikipedia.org)
In March 2010, one Bitcoin was worth $0.003. In December 2011 it was worth $2. In June 2013, it was worth $100. In September 2016, it climbed to $600. In May 2017, it was worth $2,000. In December 2017, the price shot up to $19,783. In June 2018, the price shot down to $6,387. In January 2019, the price plummeted down to $3,441. In September 2019, the price was $8,212. (Source: coinmarketcap.com)
Ethereum is an open source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality. (Source: wikipedia.org)
In August 2015, Ethereum was worth $2.77. The price shot up to $1,396 in January 2018, and back down to $174 in September 2019. (Source: coinmarketcap.com)
XRP is a real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange and remittance network created by Ripple Labs Inc., a US-based technology company. (Source: wikipedia.org)
In August 2013, XRP was worth $0.005874, the price shot up to $3.49 in January 2018, and back down to $0.24 in September 2019. (Source: coinmarketcap.com)
There are currently well over 2,500 different cryptocurrencies. Some of those cryptos have true value and real world use, while others are outright useless shitcoins that have no value and were created by a group of scammy developers to sell to an unsuspecting public in return for Bitcoin.
My Journey Begins
I remember reading news stories about Bitcoin when it was only worth $100, but I also read that it’s not real money, although it can be exchanged for real money. Thinking that it was some sort of dodgy, fake play money, I wasn’t interested in it, until an online affiliate program that I was promoting switched to Bitcoin payments. That’s when I had to learn all about Bitcoin, how to accept it, where to store it, how to convert it to real money, etc. Over the last couple of years, I have learned a great deal about this new industry and will be documenting some of this information on this website, so bookmark this site before you close the browser.
In order to receive cryptocurrency payments, you need to have a cryptocurrency wallet.
“A cryptocurrency wallet, comparable to a bank account, contains a pair of public and private cryptographic keys. A public key allows for other wallets to make payments to the wallet’s address, whereas a private key enables the spending of cryptocurrency from that address.” (Source: wikipedia.org)
In other words, a cryptocurrency wallet contains a public key (which is the crypto address that crypto funds can be sent to), and a private key (which is your password to access and transfer the crypto funds in your wallet).
Each crypto asset in your wallet has its own public key and private key, so be careful not to send a crypto payment to an invalid or wrong address because it might very well get lost.