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Mobile payments made easy
Bitcoin when used on a mobile device allows you to pay with a simple two-step scan-and-pay. There’s no need to sign up, swipe your card, type a PIN, or sign anything. All you need to receive Bitcoin payments is to display the QR code in your Bitcoin wallet app and let the other party scan your mobile, or touch the two phones together (using NFC radio technology).

Security and control over your money
Bitcoin transactions are secured by military-grade cryptography. Nobody can take your money or make a payment on your behalf. So long as you take the required steps to protect your wallet, Bitcoin can give you control over your money and a strong level of protection against many types of fraud.

Works everywhere, anytime
Similarly to email, you don’t need to ask recipients you’re sending bitcoin to, to use the same software, wallets or service providers. You just need their bitcoin address and then you can transact with them anytime. The Bitcoin network is always running and never sleeps, even on weekends and holidays.

Fast international payments
Sending bitcoins across borders is as easy as sending them across the street. There are no banks to make you wait three business days, no extra fees for making an international transfer, and no special limitations on the minimum or maximum amount you can send.

Choose your own fees
There is no fee to receive bitcoins, and many wallets let you control how large a fee to pay when spending. Most wallets have reasonable default fees, and higher fees can encourage faster confirmation of your transactions. Fees are unrelated to the amount transferred, so it’s possible to send 100,000 bitcoins for the same fee it costs to send 1 bitcoin.

Protect your identity
With Bitcoin, there’s no credit card number that malicious actors can collect in order to steal from you. In fact, it’s even possible in some cases to send a payment without revealing your identity, almost like with physical money. You should, however, take note that some effort can be required to protect your privacy.

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Chances are you hear the phrase “bitcoin mining” and your mind begins to wander to the Western fantasy of pickaxes, dirt and striking it rich. As it turns out, that analogy isn’t too far off.

Far less glamorous but equally uncertain, bitcoin mining is performed by high-powered computers that solve complex computational math problems (that is, so complex that they cannot be solved by hand, and indeed complicated enough to tax even incredibly powerful computers). The luck and work required by a computer to solve one of these problems is the equivalent of a miner striking gold in the ground — while digging in a sandbox. At the time of writing, the chance of a computer solving one of these problems is about 1 in 13 trillion, but more on that later.

The result of “bitcoin mining” is twofold. First, when computers solve these complex math problems on the Bitcoin network, they produce new bitcoin (when referring to the individual coins themselves, “bitcoin” typically appears without capitalization), not unlike when a mining operation extracts gold from the ground. And second, by solving computational math problems, bitcoin miners make the Bitcoin payment network trustworthy and secure, by verifying its transaction information.

There’s a good chance all of that only made so much sense. In order to explain how bitcoin mining works in greater detail, let’s begin with a process that’s a little bit closer to home: the regulation of printed currency.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin is always compared with either fiat or gold.

Bitcoin is often compared with gold, and one of the chief factors of similarity it the way they’re both obtained. Similarly to gold, new Bitcoins are created via the process called “mining.”

In fact, Bitcoin mining has a two-fold purpose: it allows for the creation of new coins and facilitates the processing of transactions in the network.

Another parallel with the precious metal is that there’s a limited amount of Bitcoins that can ever be mined: no more than 21 mln coins. As of 2017, nearly 17 mln Bitcoins have already been mined.

Mining can be quite a competitive task as new Bitcoins are created at a predictable and fixed rate. Those rates have been defined by Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, in the white paper published in 2008.