$ 54,790. This is the highest value for a bitcoin reached, Friday February 19, a jump of + 471% for a year. With more than 18.6 million bitcoins issued since its creation by anonymous in 2008, the entire market is theoretically worth today $ 1,015 billion. Vertiginous. How did we get here ? Why ? And how far will we go? “The Obs” takes stock.
1. What is a bitcoin?
The birth of bitcoin – a contraction of “bit” (a unit of binary information) and “coin” (“coin” in English) – remains shrouded in mystery. Inspired by the logic of “peer-to-peer” downloading, this electronic payment system is said to have been created in 2008 by a certain “Satoshi Nakamoto”, who we do not know if it is the pseudonym of a person or of a collective of anonymous people. The software platform, released freely in 2009, is creating a global market for purely digital transactions.
The fully decentralized system operates without any central authority or administrator. Transactions are based on block cryptography, which are added to each other and verified by nodes in a computer network and are irreversibly recorded in a public ledger called a “blockchain”. This “chain of blocks” is deemed to be tamper-proof because, in order to modify information, it must be changed at the same time for all users, which is supposed to ensure the stability of the system.
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