A Beginners Guide To Bitcoin and Blockchain

You have probably heard the terms Bitcoin and Blockchain but maybe you don’t understand what they mean. The post below and accompanying infographic provides a beginners guide to Bitcoin and Blockchain.

Bitcoin is the first ever decentralized cryptocurrency which can be even termed as the digital or virtual currency, says cryptosuper.market. Bitcoin is fungible, portable, divisible and irreversible.

The Bitcoin was invented by the name SATOSHI NAKAMOTO in the year 2008 and it was later published as open source in the year 2009. But the person or group behind the invention have no traces of identity as the bitcoin was published by an unknown person or group using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto.

After the invention of Bitcoins many cryptocurrencies emerged, where some used the same system and structure of bitcoin and others implemented the structure and made better digital form of currency. Though there are many forms, bitcoin stands first-1st among them. As the rest of the forms are derived from the bitcoins they are often termed as ALTCOINS which means Alternate coins of bitcoin.

At first Litecoin was taken as an altcoin which later lead to various Altcoins as Dogecoin, Ethereum, Monero and etc. Each and every altcoin has its own specifications where some of them even beat the functioning of bitcoin in some aspects as some of the Altcoins stand as the best by offering greater anonymity than bitcoin.

A Beginners Guide To Bitcoin and Blockchain – What is Blockchain?

To record all the transactions of the bitcoins a public ledger called BLOCKCHAIN has been invented where the blockchain stood as undeniably an ingenious or a creative invention. The blockchain plays an important role, the whole bitcoin network completely relies on the blockchain.

Blockchain is further classified as three types namely public, private and consortium blockchain. Generally blockchain follows a state of consensus where the transactions takes place between the users and are usually confirmed within 10 minutes of Block Time by the network, through a process called Mining.

Block time is often defined as the time taken by the network to generate an extra block in the blockchain. The Block Time differs for each and every Cryptocurrency form, the Block time for Ethereum is 20 seconds.

A chronological order is enforced in the blockchain system by mining. Mining allows different computers to agree on the state of system and it protects the neutrality of the network.

The first ever international blockchain transaction was completed on October 24, 2016. Brokered by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC).

Now there comes the question of storage of bitcoins, bitcoins are generally stored in the bitcoin wallet or crypto wallet. Cryptocurrency is not actually or directly stored in a crypto wallet.

Instead, a private key is stored that generally shows ownership of a public key. So in general a crypto wallet stores both private and public keys and allows to receive and send coins.

If a person loses his / her wallet due to the corruption of the wallet file or hard disk or the data disruption the lost bitcoins that are present in the wallet can’t be retrieved back and they are to be considered that they are lost forever. There are many offline and hardware wallets available.

The Bitcoins use peer to peer (P2P) networking system which doesn’t involve any third party interference in the transaction process. The success rate of the trade increases with the P2P networking system.

P2P networking system became first popular in 1999 with the introduction of Napster application, it is a file system which generally has a set of central servers that’s used to link people who had files with those requested files.

Since the transactions directly take place between the users without the interference of any third party, the transactions are irreversible.  But at one point it is possible to refund if and only if the receiver agrees to cancel the transaction.

Generally people often get confused about owning a cryptocurrency, the major point that concerns them which coin to select. Though bitcoin stands first it even has some drawbacks which are recovered in its altcoins. People now-a-days are interested in bitcoins because of its speed of transaction and very low transaction fee offered.

Bitcoin is the world’s most widely used cryptocurrency and thus bitcoin is increasingly viewed as a morganatic or legitimate means of exchange. But there is even a point to be concerned as the price of bitcoin is volatile, price of bitcoin can unpredictably decrease or increase over a short period of time due to its novel nature, young economy and illiquid markets.

It isn’t a tough task to own a bitcoin as there are 4 basic ways through which a person can own a bitcoin, a person can buy them form bitcoin exchange sources or can buy bitcoins from any of their friends or relatives or near by trader or by Accepting Bitcoins as payment for goods and services they provide or by mining the bitcoins.

All the three ways are simple and easy but care must be taken while dealing with unknown people or traders whereas mining isn’t that easy as it seems to be as it’s a process which involves in usage of special software to solve mathematical algorithms in exchange of bitcoins and it isn’t possible as it once was.

If a person wants to begin a transaction and he knows nothing regarding the process then that’s totally futile. We can conclude the information regarding beginning transaction process or steps of the transaction process in few steps as : a transaction can be termed a general transfer of value between the Bitcoin wallets that are involved in the blockchain.

Bitcoin wallets have private key which is generally used to sign transactions by providing a proof (mathematical proof) that the request have come from the owner of the wallet. The signature also prevents transaction being altered by others once it has been issued or started.

All transactions are between the users and are usually confirmed within 10 minutes of block time by the network through mining.

Nowadays for the convenience of the bitcoin users many Bitcoin ATMs have been installed and there are about 3164 ATM machines through out the world. Bitcoin kiosks (Look like traditional ATMs) are generally the machines which are connected to internet and allow the insertion of cash in exchange for bitcoins. As per the study, bitcoin ATM charges about 7% on transaction and 50$ as exchange rate.

Is Bitcoin legal?

There are many countries which legalized the usage of bitcoins and whereas there are many countries which have banned the usage of bitcoins and declared bitcoins illegal. In short we can say that the bitcoin isn’t legalized all over the world.

Countries or Nations like Ecuador, Bolivia, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan and Saudi Arabia banned the usage of bitcoins and declared bitcoins illegal whereas, countries like United States, Canada, Australia and European Union accept the usage of bitcoin declaring it legal.

In cryptocurrency we usually have a fork which is given as change in protocol, the forks are classified into hard forks and soft forks. The first Bitcoin fork was NAMECOIN published or generated in the year 2010 and a hard fork published in the year 2017 was Bitcoin Gold.

The most common fork used is the SegWit which is a soft fork, SegWit (Short for Segregated Witness) and SegWit is a protocol upgrade that changes the way data is stored.

The total dollar market value is generally determined by Market Cap value or Market Capitalization value. The market cap value is mathematically calculated using MC=N x P, where MC is the market capitalization, P is closing price per share and N is number of shares outstanding.

Bitcoins are even helpful in the payment sector. For the first time University Of Nicosia, Cyprus accepted fees in the form of bitcoins. Bitcoins are even used in shopping, online transactions and payment.

There are many payment service providers (PSP) offering online services dealing with cryptocurrencies. There are many payment service providers where Bitpay and Coinbase are internationally top ranking exchange providers for bitcoins. The basic work of the payment service provider is to accept bitcoin on behalf of the merchant and convert it to the local or Fiat currency.

Lightning network effectively creates a layer on top of bitcoin and it helps in fast and cheap transactions which can net settle to the blockchain. Lightning Network is pretty complicated and is an extremely promising as a cryptocurrency game-changer.

DAO tokens came into existence in the year 2016, the main usage of the DAO tokens was that the were to receive DAO tokens and then vote for a project to fund. But the concept didn’t work successfully as many people didn’t want the system to be present.

ICO (Initial Coin Offering) refers to the creation and sale of digital tokens. The first sale was held in the year 2014, it’s a project that came into existence to create some certain amount of a digital tokens and sell it to the people usually in exchange of their cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or Bitcoin.

We hope you have enjoyed this beginners guide to Bitcoin and the Blockchain, if you did please comment and share.

The infographic below helps explain further – courtesy of Bitcoinfy.net

A Beginners Guide To Bitcoin and Blockchain - bitcoin infographic

These Quick Hacks Will Change Your Financial Situation Like Magic

If you want to do something about your financial situation, you’re not powerless. There’s always something you can do to improve your situation, all it takes is a new frame of mind and a can-do attitude. Below, we have some quick hacks that will help you to change your financial situation as if by magic. Take a look:

Develop A Better Money Mindset

Start by working on your money mindset. Your thoughts and attitude surrounding money will make a huge difference to how much of it you have, how you spend it, the financial opportunities that come to you, and more. How do you go about changing your mindset? First of all, you need to assess any limiting beliefs you have about money. We usually pick these up from childhood, and without realizing it they can seriously affect our adult financial situation. For example, some people think they are not deserving of money, that they will never have enough money, that money is evil, etc. Being able to overcome these beliefs is crucial. You can also try affirmations, visualizations, and techniques such as tapping to change your beliefs. There are lots of free resources out there that you can use!

The more positive you think and feel about money, the more you’ll be able to change your money mindset for the better.

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Come Up With A Plan For Your Future

By coming up with a plan for your future, you’ll actually be able to set yourself goals and work out the baby steps you’ll need to take to reach those goals. If you don’t have a plan or goals, then you’re just going to meander aimlessly along, and chances are, you’re going to waste your money on superficial things that won’t give you any real long term joy.

Whatever your future plans, it’s always a good idea to have an emergency fund, just in case. You can look at companies like https://www.creditraters.com for help if you don’t have an emergency fund but you need cash in a pinch. Just bear in mind that it’s always better to have some money saved up.

Take A Look At Your Budget

If you don’t have a budget, now is the time to put one together. Figure out how much money you’re spending and making each month and where you can save. For example, you could take a packed lunch to work, cancel subscriptions you don’t really use, change utility suppliers, and more. Start using the envelope method for your budget if you like; this can make it easier for you to see exactly how much money you have available for certain things, such as your food shopping.

Think About A Purchase For A Month Before Splashing Out

Before making impulse purchases, you should think about them carefully, or you might end up with a bunch of things that you don’t really use. Avoid the urge to spend right away and wait for a month before buying and you might find you forget all about the thing you really wanted to buy. Money and space saved!

Here’s How You Avoid Debt on Your Credit Card

If you know that you have a lot of debt on your credit card then you will know how frustrating this can be. You will also know how hard it can be to try and pay it off before you accumulate more debt and this can put you in a very dire situation. Luckily, it is very easy for you to avoid debt and if you make the effort to follow these simple tips then you should have no problem getting on top of your debt once and for all.

Always have an Emergency Fund

So many people manage to create credit card debt because they were forced to pay an expense that they did not have the money for. They have absolutely no room for savings but if you were to have an emergency fund then this can really help you to avoid credit card debt. You can easily use the cash to pay for any emergencies that arise and this is a fantastic way for you to really stay on top of everything. Of course, if you are struggling to save then one thing that you can do is put some money away every single month. When you are able to do this, you can then accumulate a savings fund without having to struggle or manually put the money away. There are also many apps out there that you can use to try and really save on your expenses so these are well worth looking into.

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Charge What You Can Afford

You have to avoid the mistake of using one of your credit cards to buy things that you cannot afford. You can easily avoid debt by purchasing the things that you know you can afford or even things that you have the cash for. If you cannot afford to pay with cash then it is important to know that you can’t charge it to your card. If you do have to charge to your card then try and look up www.luckyloans.co.uk as this is a great way for you to find out if it is possible for you to get a lower interest rate when compared to the one that you have on your credit card.

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Avoid Balance Transfers

Don’t transfer any balances that you have on your card so that you can avoid your payment date. The main reason for this is because if you transfer one of your balances to another credit card then you have to have a good reason for this. You may want to take advantage of a lower interest rate or you may even get a cash incentive. Either way, if you don’t do this then your bank will carry on increasing in debt and this is the last thing that you need when you already have so much going on. Of course, if you want to avoid this then there are so many things that you can do, such as researching the card before you buy and even putting in the work to make sure that you are getting the best deal.

Four Reasons To Focus On Paying Off Student Debt

It’s an unfortunate but inescapable fact of life that most who choose further education are now graduating and beginning life with debts. Often, they won’t be the only debts that are quickly amassed when you’re starting out in a career, trying to find an independent living situation and all the other expenses that come in this period of time. But should there be a focus on paying off tuition fee debts early, even during challenging Financial Times when you’re learning to budget? Well, the answer is yes, for these reasons…

Lower Your Debt Risk

If you already have significant amounts of student debt from tuition fees, you’ll find it harder to get lenders to give you additional money that you may desperately need for housing or setting yourself up in a job. Your debt to income ratio is an important factor in being able to access lower-cost borrowing and also frees up more of your disposable income every month, the less you have. This means that you’re more able to work towards other financial goals you may have, such as saving for a home deposit or a car.

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Minimise Inescapable Debt

If you encounter some truly unfortunate circumstances – serious illness or loss of a job – early on in life, your financial situation can quickly spiral out of control. But even declaring bankruptcy doesn’t spare your student loans – they still need to be paid back. This makes it a smart idea to pay back those loans, because you’ll still have to keep on top of them even under dire circumstances which is extremely difficult. Paying them down means you’ll be better able to deal with other money challenges in your life.

Escape Servicing Charges

It isn’t just the amount you owe on your student loans, it’s the money you lose out on over the long-term servicing that debt. Money that you spend on paying down a loan is essentially dead money – it’s not working for you. Whereas that same money invested into funds is generating a return for your future. And time compounds that situation, so as long as you’re making repayments, you’re missing out on that money working for you. Speak to a specialist service like RefinanceStudent.Loan to make sure your repayment schedule is optimised against your other financial needs and commitments. The sooner student debt is paid off the sooner you can concentrate on making your money work for you in other ways.

Live a Less Stressful Life

If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that living with debt is toxic for our stress levels. As life can be quite stressful enough when you’re just staring out trying to build a career, you want to try and minimise other sources of it. Getting focused on a debt repayment plan can help in itself – if you know there’s a way out, it can help to ease any anxieties and you know that you’re more in control of the situation and able to handle other curveballs.