In the USA, our fiat currency is created by the Federal Reserve and printed by the US Treasury. Traditional economies are focused around the transactions that occur with fiat money . The underlying mechanics can get complicated, but essentially, the government controls the production of money, paper money (fiat currency). The discovery of new bitcoin is one aspect of bitcoin mining while the other half is confirming transactions on the ledger . Bitcoin is quite different , rather than being printed; it is discovered. These miners can be plugged into computers USB ports, but are typically high-powered stand-alone units. This process of discovering new bitcoin is known as "bitcoin mining". Bitcoin
mining can be done on any computer capable of running the program, but is typically done on highly specified hardware, known as bitcoin miners.
Now, most mining is carried out by "pools" of miners who combine their resources and attempt to use their cumulative computing power to earn Bitcoin rewards. As Bitcoin mining has matured, the barrier to entry for individual miners has been raised.
Segregated Witness – as a soft fork – was first presented by Pieter Wuille in December 2015, at the second edition of the Scaling Bitcoin workshops in Hong Kong. Many first heard about the proposal there, and it initially seemed to be welcomed with enthusiasm.
With close ties to Bitmain, ViaBTC alone garnered enough hash power to single-handedly block SegWit activation. And its operator, Haipo Yang, positioned himself as a staunch critic of the proposed protocol upgrade. Moreover, a new Chinese mining pool emerged: ViaBTC.
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But as long as the miners are honest (and unless there’s a miner that controls the blockchain completely, miners have to be), it generally is a reliable technology that lets you engage in transactions safely and quickly. It’s not quite as trustworthy as a full check. To learn more about how wallets work and why it matters, read more on the Bitcoin Market Journal blog and subscribe to the Bitcoin
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As credit card payment systems have caught up with modern shopping, the need for trust has receded slightly since you can contest credit card charges to an extent if needed. When you buy something from somebody online, to some degree you are engaging in trust. You’re trusting that you’re getting what you paid for (as opposed to a box with a brick in it), that it works, that it is exactly what you bought, and so on. However, the Wild West of consumerism lives on, in a way, bitcoin in the form of the SPV wallet. That becomes doubly true when you use systems like PayPal, or even go the old-school route and send somebody a check in the mail.
SPV, on the other hand, just checks to see if the transaction has been verified by a miner and it turns up on a block in the chain. One look at bitcoin’s blockchain will tell you this is a process that can take a while, and it’s expensive to boot. SPV is short for simplified payment verification, which is usually how smartphone altcoin wallets function. To understand it, let’s look at a full payment verification. You have the full blockchain of an altcoin in your wallet, the person you are buying from or selling to also has it, and you compare the two chains to ensure they match exactly.
This doesn't need to be a big problem in itself. However, it does complicate creating newer transactions depending on unconfirmed transactions: New transactions need to know the transaction identifier they rely on. Transactions are still valid and will move the bitcoins from the same place to the same place, under all the same conditions. This, in turn, makes it significantly harder to build certain second-layer protocols on top of Bitcoin, like bi-directional payment channels.
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