Bitcoin and Blockchain are two words being bandied around today everywhere you turn. What is it about the two technologies?
A quick look at their definitions reveals that one is subordinate to the other. Actually, one was created to support the other. Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency. It is decentralized and not issued by a single authority. Bitcoin is highly secure and is not easily traceable.
Blockchain, on the other hand, is a recording system technology that is highly resistant to change. Information is stored in digital blocks that are stored in chains. Blockchain technology was developed as core support of Bitcoin by being a public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions.
While Bitcoin is a currency, Blockchain is a technology. Bitcoin is used in nearly all applications that would allow electronic payments and funds transfers. Being a currency, its uses are in monetary issues. One needs a Bitcoin-Wallet to store their Bitcoins, and then they can start being paid and making payments in Bitcoin.
Blockchain as technology is finding wonderful use and application outside the monetary world. Individuals and organizations are using Blockchain to keep records of events, identity management, processing transactions and keeping medical records. Others are using Blockchain in provenance documenting and in food traceability.
Your First Bitcoin
There are two major ways to get Bitcoins. First is mining which requires specialized software and hardware. You can mine Bitcoins as an individual or in a pool. What is required is the dedication of computing power for some time. This is however not easy since mining Bitcoins is designed to be as difficult as real-life mining.
The second method you can get Bitcoins is by selling something and then being paid in Bitcoins. You can also exchange currency for Bitcoins as you would do in a Forex bureau. The value of Bitcoin is today mostly calculated in its Dollar Value equivalent. At the time of writing this, one Bitcoin is being sold at 4266.84 US Dollars. [September 3o, 2017]
Bitcoin as Investment
Speculators are holding onto Bitcoins as an investment. Since the value of Bitcoin keeps rising, there are some people who have bought Bitcoins and are holding them as speculation investment. Of course, there is a risk of loss if the value falls to below the price you bought your Bitcoins at. However, this is a risk that every investor is aware of, even the one holding onto real estate or other investments.
In a research conducted by Cambridge University in 2017, between 2.9 million and 5.8 million unique users are using a cryptocurrency wallet, and most of them are using Bitcoin.