Summary of bitcoin and its underlying technology-blockchain, by Henry Zhang, Impact Investing Intern. University of Toronto.
Bitcoin Everyone’s probably heard of “bitcoin,” but many only have the vaguest idea about it and little understand the underlying technology. Even fewer realize the true impact this technology may have on the future. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. A cryptocurrency is a digital program or asset designed to work like currency . It seeks to have the following properties: a store of value, a unit of account, and a medium of exchange Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency of the seven hundred out there. Other major cryptocurrencies are Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin. Cryptocurrencies work via a system of paired-public, private keys - randomly generated numbers. Each user in the cryptocurrency network has a unique pair of public and private keys. The public key is a string of numbers available to everybody on the network. They are used for encryption. The private key is only available to an individual. It is used for decryption of the paired public key. The bitcoin transfer mech