A private key is used to verify ownership and sign transactions in order to send bitcoin. A private key can derive a public key.
Bitcoin wallets hold a user's keys, allowing them to sign transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain. Wallets also allow users to receive bitcoin and store it securely.
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency that is a network of nodes running Bitcoin software. A node is able to receive and communicate transaction information with other nodes in the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin nodes store and verify the blockchain.
Blockchain is the technology that underpins Bitcoin and allows its users to exchange value without a central intermediary. A blockchain is a database containing the entire history of Bitcoin transactions.
A transaction is a transfer of Bitcoin value on the blockchain. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible once added to the blockchain.
A node is an integral part of the Bitcoin network. Nodes enforce Bitcoin’s rule set and thus control Bitcoin. An individual should run a node to verify their bitcoin ownership trustlessly and ensure that other members follow the rules of the network.
Bitcoin uses a distributed ledger to publically record all transactions on the network. This ledger allows anyone to view the history of all bitcoin transactions and prove that no coin was double spent. Lastly, Proof-of-Work provides an objective way for Bitcoin users to agree on the state of the ledger.
A pull system is a payment system where the payee is the originator of the transaction, while a push system allows only the payer to originate a transaction. Pull systems rely on trusted third parties and incur higher costs.
Bitcoin’s network utilizes a wide range of technologies and ideas from previous projects. Additionally, Bitcoin implements several original technologies.
Bitcoin Core is the most popular version of the Bitcoin software. It powers almost all of the nodes on the Bitcoin network, allowing them to enforce the same ruleset and achieve consensus.
Cryptography is a field of math which encompasses a variety of different methods for maintaining digital security and privacy. Bitcoin uses cryptography in several ways to ensure its security.
Bitcoin has a variety of data types, most of which are represented by alphanumeric strings. These strings may seem indistinguishable at first, but each data type has a unique identifying marker.
A cold storage wallet has keys that never touch an internet-connected computer. Cold storage offers superior security at the cost of lower convenience.
The Lightning Network facilitates instant, near-feeless payments for Bitcoin. These payments happen on a secondary network instead of Bitcoin’s blockchain.
Bitcoin mining secures the Bitcoin network, confirms transactions and releases new coins into the Bitcoin ecosystem. Here is a brief look at how it all works.
Segregated Witness, or SegWit, is an upgrade to Bitcoin that was activated in 2017 to fix transaction malleability and help Bitcoin scale. SegWit introduced two new address types and enabled the launch of the Lightning Network.