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Bitcoin basics

Your go-to place for information, tips, news and features on the cryptocurrency that started it all.

  • What is the lightning network?

    As the name suggests, the lightning network is a solution created to make transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain faster by processing multiple transactions at once before they are recorded on the chain. First proposed in 2015, the lightning network allows…

    1 minute read
  • How does Bitcoin differ from gold?

    Cryptocurrency investors argue that Bitcoin is the digital equivalent of investing in gold, in the sense that it is a hedge against inflation and turbulence in the financial markets. In other words, investors have long invested in gold as a…

    2 minute read
  • What is a Schnorr signature?

    A Schnorr signature is a type of digital signature used to verify and authorise transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain. Think of a digital signature as an electronic version of a physical signature that is virtually impossible to fake. It was…

    1 minute read
  • What is Taproot?

    The Taproot upgrade was implemented to improve Bitcoin’s network speed, privacy, and security features. It did this by making it possible to process transactions in batches. This means it takes less time to process transactions, allowing Bitcoin to continue to scale…

    1 minute read
  • How many Bitcoin are there and why?

    There are currently around 18.9 million Bitcoin in circulation, with a maximum supply of 21 million. The remaining couple of million Bitcoin are expected to be fully mined by 2140. You may be wondering why it will take over 100…

    1 minute read
  • What does mining difficulty mean?

    To mine Bitcoin, computers solve cryptographic puzzles to process and validate blocks and their transactions. However, as pointed out by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, the capability of computer hardware and processing power becomes more advanced over time. To solve this…

    1 minute read
  • What determines the price of Bitcoin?

    The Bitcoin price is determined by the age-old economic principle of supply and demand. Supply and demand applies to virtually every asset and good – be it gold, property, currencies or cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is special, though, because its supply is ‘programmed…

    1 minute read
  • What is a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP)?

    A BIP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal) is the document standard used for proposing changes to Bitcoin.  Proposals are usually first roughly outlined using a mailing list of developers, where feedback and their feasibility are assessed before a decision is made to…

    1 minute read
  • What will happen once all Bitcoin are mined?

    Bitcoin is created through a process called mining, and the people doing the mining are called miners. Using supercomputers, these miners confirm transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain and are rewarded for their efforts in the form of newly-created Bitcoin. These…

    1 minute read
  • Why is mining necessary?

    The process of mining gold can be understood as it is a mineral found deep underground that can only be reached and salvaged using mining equipment. But can the same be said for something that only exists on computers?  While…

    2 minute read
  • What is proof of work?

    Bitcoin runs on a blockchain network, a shared ledger similar to a traditional bank ledger that contains and records every Bitcoin transaction that has ever taken place. In order to continue adding new blocks to the chain, a consensus protocol…

    1 minute read
  • What is SegWit?

    Segregated Witness (SegWit) refers to a process to reduce the requirements for processing Bitcoin transactions by allowing information to be processed more efficiently to speed up the network. Specifically this refers to digital signatures used to verify transactions, which take…

    1 minute read