How Bitcoin Works: A Five Minute Read

Bitcoin is undoubtedly the most prominent cryptocurrency in the market today. Find out how Bitcoin works. 

Bitcoin is the world's most popular crypto that primarily serves as a means of payment and an investment asset. While it bears several similar properties to fiat money, Bitcoin is an online-based currency without any regulatory authority. It runs on a peer to network, facilitating seamless, secure, and low-cost cross-border money transfers. The following article illustrates the basics of how Bitcoin works.

Getting Started with Bitcoin 

The Bitcoin network is open, and anyone can join via a smartphone and internet access. You can quickly get started without understanding all the technical details. The first step is to install a Bitcoin wallet into your smartphone or computer. Bitcoin wallets are available online for free and at a small fee. That will generate a public Bitcoin address, and you can create as many as you need. 

Like an email address, the Bitcoin public address serves as the means of identification in transactions. You need to share the address with your friends or business associates for use in sending or receiving payments. Your Bitcoin wallet will also generate a private key for authorizing transactions that you should keep secret. 

The Bitcoin wallet enables you to send and receive Bitcoin at your convenience. Crypto exchanges like are the most convenient places to buy and sell Bitcoin. They can also process Bitcoin transactions and manage virtual investments on your behalf at a small fee. However, you can still process Bitcoin transactions directly through your wallet. 

The Blockchain 

The blockchain is Bitcoin's underlying technology that maintains the network's security, privacy, and efficiency. It verifies and compiles all Bitcoin transactions on a shared public ledger, accessible to all users on the system while using cryptography to validate users' public addresses and transaction histories on the database. 

All validated transactions on the ledger are irreversible, making it impossible for Bitcoin users to reverse payments. That also prevents double-spending or using the same tokens to conduct two separate transactions. The blockchain comprises thousands of nodes in different parts of the world, each holding a ledger copy. They check in with each other to make sure the ledger is consistent, making it extremely difficult for anyone to manipulate Bitcoin transactions. 

Bitcoin Transactions 

Bitcoin wallets do not store the tokens. Instead, they hold users' private keys for signing transactions. The private key provides mathematical proof that the funds have come from the wallet's owner. It also prevents bad actors from altering transactions after spending their funds. The blockchain broadcasts all transactions to the network for confirmation, which usually lasts about 10 to 20 minutes. That process is known as Bitcoin mining. 


Mining refers to a peer-to-peer consensus mechanism that confirms Bitcoin transactions, including them in the blockchain. The validation occurs in chronological order, protecting the network's neutrality and allowing different computers (nodes) to agree on the system's state. To receive confirmation, miners must pack transactions in a block that fits strict cryptographic rules. Those rules prevent the modification of previous blocks. 

Mining creates an equivalent of a competitive lottery, preventing individuals from quickly adding new blocks to the blockchain consecutively. That makes it impossible for any group or individual to control the blockchain or replace parts of it for personal gains. Miners verify and confirm Bitcoin transactions and mint new tokens for rewards in Bitcoin. The process entails solving complex mathematical puzzles, and only the first individual or group to solve it receives the awards. 

Overall, Bitcoin is a tech-based means of payment and investment asset, with some technical details that you may not fully understand at once. However, the above article has outlined the basics of how Bitcoin works. 

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