Eight years after its creation, bitcoin sees its growth accelerate. Its value has been multiplied by fifteen in 2017 to reach record levels at the end of the year. This flight of prices, however, leaves a speculative “bubble” that should encourage investors to be cautious. What are the uses of Bitcoin? What is the Blockchain behind the creation of bitcoin? How to buy or sell Bitcoins? What is the tax regime applicable to Bitcoins? Is this new payment method really secure? What do you need to know before investing in Bitcoins? Find all the answers to your questions!
Bitcoin is a virtual currency (or cryptocurrency) created in 2009 by one or more computer programmers using the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto”.
Bitcoin is traded on online platforms from person to person against other currency currencies (euro, dollar, yen …), outside traditional banking networks, in a completely “decentralized” way. Unlike other currency currencies, bitcoin is totally devoid of any legal framework:
its value is not regulated by a central bank (such as, for example, the European Central Bank for the euro).
How are bitcoins created?
Like other crypto-currencies, bitcoin was created from the Blockchain . The Blockchain (or “data block chain”) is a computer technology for secure storage and transmission of information that operates without a central control body (it is a so-called “decentralized” currency).
The Blockchain is like an immense public and anonymous virtual registry of all the transactions made by users, which grows with time. The specificity of Blockchain is to be an encrypted registry that requires a certain amount of computing power to register and validate transactions between users (see below: Bitcoin mining). Another peculiarity of the Blockchain is to be, as its name indicates, divided into linear blocks , where the last part of each (the cryptographic signature, also called “Hash”) makes it possible to constitute the next block, and therefore of make the entire Blockchain secure and unmodifiable.
Creation and mining of bitcoins
The issue or creation of Bitcoins originated, at the origin, of the trust between users towards this virtual currency. It is therefore the simple law of supply and demand, and when it was created, bitcoin was worth only a few cents because it was used very little.
On the other hand, to validate a Bitcoin transaction between users and definitively register it in the Blockchain (Bitcoin transaction register), a cryptographic algorithm has been programmed for a certain level of difficulty and to request a certain amount of power. computer. Users who make their computer available to create an encrypted, tamper-proof signature on a “block of transactions” are called Bitcoin miners. In exchange for this service, and therefore the time spent encrypting transactions, minors are rewarded with a certain amount of Bitcoins.
Thus, to create or “mine” ( bit coin mining ) Bitcoins regularly, and thus validate Bitcoin exchanges between users, it is imperative that a large number of minors calculate the cryptographic signature of the Blockchain at any time.
Due to the increasing difficulty of the Blockchain cryptographic algorithm , and its size, Bitcoins are created at a decreasing rate:
between 2009 and 2013: 50 bitcoins issued every ten minutes,
between 2013 and 2016: 25 bitcoins every ten minutes,
between 2017 and 2020: 12.5 bitcoins every ten minutes, etc.