A cryptocurrency is a digital medium of exchange. The first cryptocurrency to begin trading was Bitcoin in 2009. Since then, numerous cryptocurrencies have become available. Fundamentally, cryptocurrencies are specifications regarding the use of currency which seek to incorporate principles of cryptography to implement a distributed, decentralized and secure information economy.
The collective name for cryptocurrencies offered as alternatives to bitcoin. Litecoin, Feathercoin and PPcoin are all altcoins.
Bitcoin is a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely digital money. It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. From a user perspective, Bitcoin is pretty much like cash for the Internet. Bitcoin can also be seen as the most prominent triple entry bookkeeping system in existence.
News, Bitcoin Magazine, CoinDesk, The Genesis Block
Learning Resources, Bitcoin Wiki, General FAQ
Charts and Statistics, Blockchain.info, Bitcoincharts.com, Blockexplorer.com
Forums & SNS, BitcoinTalk Forum, Reddit's Bitcoin Community, Bitcoin StackExchange (Q&A), Facebook Page, Google+ Bitcoin Community
Conferences and Events
Historical Incidents or Alerts, Bitcoin - Network status and alerts
Features, Bitcoins can be transferred between arbitrary nodes on the network., Transactions Irreversible, Transactions are broadcasted within seconds and verified within 10 to 60 minutes., Double spending is prevented by using a block chain., Transactions can be received at any time regardless of whether your computer is turned on or off., Nobody owns the Bitcoin network much like no one owns the technology behind email. Bitcoin is controlled by all Bitcoin users around the world.
Futures, MPEx, MT4, 796 Futures
Stocks, BTC-E, Bitstamp
Hard limit of about 21 million Bitcoins.
Bitcoins are divisible to 8 decimal places yielding a total of approx. 21×1014 currency units.
Transactions are cheap, and mostly free (Transaction fees).
Founder, Satoshi Nakamoto 中本哲史
Software Projects, Bitcoin-Qt, bitcoinj, MultiBit, Bitcoin Wallet for Android, Armory, Electrum, picocoin, python-bitcoinlib, Bits of Proof Enterprise Bitcoin Server
A block chain is a transaction database shared by all nodes participating in a system based on the Bitcoin protocol. A full copy of a currency's block chain contains every transaction ever executed in the currency. With this information, one can find out how much value belonged to each address at any point in history.
Mining is the process of spending computing power to process transactions, secure the network, and keep everyone in the system synchronized together. It can be perceived like the Bitcoin data center except that it has been designed to be fully decentralized with miners operating in all countries and no individual having control over the network. This process is referred to as "mining" as an analogy to gold mining because it is also a temporary mechanism used to issue new bitcoins. Unlike gold mining, however, Bitcoin mining provides a reward in exchange for useful services required to operate a secure payment network. Mining will still be required after the last bitcoin is issued.
PoW, cryptographic hashing algorithm, SHA-256(d) hash, Bitcoin(BTC), Scrypt hash, Litecoin(LTC), memory-intensive, 1CC/2CC/TWN hash, Primecoin(XPM), Momentum hash, Protoshares(PTS)
Pros, Pooled mining generates a steadier income., Pooled mining can generate a 1-2% higher income (before fees, if any) due to long polling provided by the pools.
Cons, Pool mining can suffer interruptions from outages at the pool provider., Pooled mining tends to generate a smaller income due to fees being charged and transaction fees not being cashed out., Pools might be part of attack scenarios.
Leading Pools, GHash.io, Merged Mining, 100%, BTC Guild, Bitcoin Mining, 97% PPLNS/92.5% PPS, Eligius, Bitcoin Mining, 100% CPPSRB, Discus Fish (F2Pool), Bitcoin Mining, 96% PPS, Litecoin Mining, 96% PPS, Protoshares Mining, 97% time-based proportional, Slush, Bitcoin Mining, 98% Score-based share, P2Pool, decentralized Bitcoin mining, 99.5% PPLNS
Reward Types & Explanation, PPLNS, PPS, Others, Visual examples of the various payout methods, Comparison of mining pools
Pros, Solo mining is less prone to outages resulting in higher uptime., Solo mining doesn't incur any fees. For each discovered block, 25 BTC and the transaction fees are paid to the miner.
Cons, Solo mining tends to generate more erratic income., Solo mining wastes time due to only supporting getwork pull., Solo Mining needs a large amount of hashing power, thus it's almost impossible to do with bitcoins, while mining alt-coins in solo mode is still acceptable
Cold storage, Paper wallets
Regulators from various jurisdictions are taking steps to provide individuals and businesses with rules on how to integrate this new technology with the formal, regulated financial system.
BitLegal is the easiest way to explore the evolving regulatory landscape of virtual currency around the world.
Anti-Money Laundering techniques are used to stop people converting illegally obtained funds, to appear as though they have been earned legally. AML mechanisms can be legal or technical in nature. Regulators frequently apply AML techniques to bitcoin exchanges.
Double Spending, Race attack, Finney attack, Vector76 attack, Brute force attack