Q&A: How is a bitcoin mined? A look at the virtual currency

AP

Print Article

LONDON (AP) A company in Slovenia that mines bitcoin says it has been hacked, for a potential loss of tens of millions of dollars.

The company, NiceHash, gives customers the ability to mine for bitcoins. As the price of the world's most popular virtual currency keeps surging to a record $15,000 on Thursday here's a look at what it is and how it is "mined."

___

WHAT IS A BITCOIN?

Bitcoin is a digital currency that's not tied to any bank or government. Like cash, it lets users spend or receive money anonymously, or mostly so; like other online payment services, it also lets them do so over the internet. There are several other virtual currencies, such as ethereum, but bitcoin is the most popular.

Bitcoins are basically lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they travel from one owner to the next. Transactions can be made anonymously, making the currency popular with libertarians as well as tech enthusiasts, speculators and criminals.

___

HOW IS A BITCOIN MINED?

Tech-savvy users called "miners" use their computers to make complex calculations that verify transactions in bitcoins. This so-called blockchain is a global running tally of every bitcoin transaction. The miners receive bitcoins in exchange according to a set of established rules. In this way, the bitcoin network harnesses individuals' greed for the collective good.

NiceHash, the company that got hacked, made a business from matching people with spare computing power to those wanting to mine bitcoin.

___

HOW ARE BITCOINS KEPT SECURE?

Because the tally of bitcoin transactions, or blockchain, is verified constantly by a network of miners, rogues cannot spend the same bitcoin twice. As long as miners keep the blockchain secure, counterfeiting shouldn't be an issue.

___

HOW DID BITCOIN COME TO BE?

It's a mystery. Bitcoin was launched in 2009 by a person or group of people operating under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin was then adopted by a small clutch of enthusiasts. Nakamoto dropped off the map as bitcoin began to attract widespread attention. But proponents say that doesn't matter: The currency obeys its own internal logic.

Print Article

Read More National & World

The Latest: Congresswoman says child tax credit expanded

AP

December 15, 2017 at 10:03 am | WASHINGTON (AP) The Latest on Republican tax overhaul legislation (all times local): 11 a.m. Republican Congresswoman Kristi Noem says the child tax credit has been expanded for low-income ...

Comments

Read More

The Latest: May says UK, EU to start new talks right away

AP

December 15, 2017 at 9:13 am | BRUSSELS (AP) The Latest on Britain's Brexit discussions with the European Union at a summit of EU leaders in Brussels (all times local): 4:10 p.m. Prime Minister Theresa May says Britain a...

Comments

Read More

What's next for Brexit as EU agrees to new of talks?

AP

December 15, 2017 at 6:06 am | BRUSSELS (AP) Leaders of 27 European Union nations gave British Prime Minister Theresa May an early Christmas present on Friday, declaring that Brexit talks can move on to their next phase: transit...

Comments

Read More

Workplace romance under spotlight after sex scandals

AP

December 15, 2017 at 5:00 am | NEW YORK (AP) The minefield that co-workers and companies navigate when it comes to love at work has gotten even more complex following the recent flood of sexual misconduct allegations roiling Hol...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2017 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X