What is Bitcoin?

– Hey guys, this is Austin. If you bought a single bitcoin a year agoyou would’ve paid just under $1000 for it. However, if you wanna sell that samebitcoin today it is worth over $17,000. Which really begs the question,what exactly is a bitcoin?The idea is that this
is a virtual currencythat isn’t backed by anything physical. It’s important to know
that this isn’t a stock. It is a currency. Now mind you,it’s a little bit different
than something like aU. S. dollar, or a euro, or the yen,which are all backed
by specific countries. But the same idea still applies here. And the maintenance reason why bitcoin isskyrocketing in value is because everyonewants to get their hands on them. So how does this all actually work?Well, unlike something like cash,which is printed by a government andI can hold it in my hand,bitcoin relies on something called“the blockchain“. A simple way to understand this isto imagine a ledger. Every time anyone buys or sells anythingrelated to bitcoin is
recorded in this ledgercalled „the blockchain“ and then it iscopied hundreds of thousands of timesevery single hour across
multiple computersto make sure that everyone ison the exact same page. What makes this interesting
is the idea thatbecause it is copied across all thesedifferent computers and
because it all is public,before I say,wanna go buy a bitcoin from Ken orbefore he tries to sell me a pizza fora whole bitcoin because he’s greedy andwants to sell me a $17,000 pizza. I can actually see exactly
how many bitcoin arein his specific wallet and vice versa. It is all totally public. So say I wanna buy that
incredibly expensive andyet hopefully delicious pizza from Kenfor a single bitcoin. Well, it works out from his end becausehe can look in my wallet and say,“Hey look, I have one bitcoin there. „I transfer it over to him,he receives it into his wallet,it’s all recorded in the blockchain andeverything is totally fine. However, what happens when I decide tocheat the system and pretend that I have50 bitcoin in my wallet
when I really don’thave any at all?Well, the blockchain actually does areally good job of
protecting against this. Because that ledger and that list oftransactions is copied
across so many computers,it’s updated multiple times per hour. The idea that I can just say,hey I have 50 bitcoin
and try to tell Ken that,he can check,and unless I can access
all of the thousands ofcomputers every few minutes andchange those numbers,which is not remotely practical,Ken is still going to be able to knowthat instead of my 50 bitcoinsI have 0. 001 bitcoin. Because that blockchain
has to be double andtriple and quadruple checked by computersall around the world you can actuallyset your own computer
up to help mine bitcoin. Essentially, every single time that youhelp process a transaction and make surethat it’s legit you mine what is a very,very tiny amount of bitcoin. If you were lucky enough to mine bitcoinin the early days and
held on to what you mined,you’d become a very,
very rich person today. However, in 2017,if you wanna set up a
bitcoin mining systemit really doesn’t make a lot of sense. Bitcoin mining used to work best onPC graphics cards,which were originally meant for gaming,can actually do this kind
of stuff fairly well. However, nowadays ASICs have completelydestroyed that market. And ASIC is essentially a small computerthat its sole purpose in
life is to mine bitcoin. And when it does it does it a lot fasterthan your actual computer which makes ittotally obsolete. If you’re interested,I did an entire video on crypto mininga few months back. Now even though it’s not profitable tomine bitcoin anymore
there are other types ofcrypto currencies that you can actuallysome money on if you
have a pretty decent PCand then trade those into bitcoin. So if you guys want
more information on thatyou can check it out right here. By far, the easiest way of gettingyour hands on bitcoin
is to simply buy them. But this is where I have
to be very, very clear,this is not a normal investment. Not only does it just go up and down,but it goes wildly up and wildly down. So if you do decide to
put money into bitcoin,please keep in mind this is asuper risky investment. And that, honestly,it could all disappear at any minute. Hopefully it won’t but just be careful. Prices really are wildly variableon bitcoin right now. So last week a single bitcoin was worthabout $10,000 but this week it’s worthabout 17,000 and next week it could beworth 25,000 or it could be worth $2,000. There’s really know way of knowing. If all that hasn’t scared you off,then it actually isn’t that difficult toget your hands on some bitcoin. So the first thing
you’re going to need is awallet to actually store them in. There are a lot of different ways ofgetting yourself a wallet. So on the very secure side you can get ahardware wallet that is goingto be fully off line. But for most people the easiest way is tocreate an account in an exchangesuch as Coinbase. The advantage with Coinbase is,is not only do they give you a walletto store it in but you can also purchasebitcoin from them as well as someother crypto currencies such asLitecoin and Ethereum,which is the other two
major ones right now. Alright, so after this
long and arduous journeywe finally have our bitcoin. However, what can we actually do with it?So some stores will actually allow youto buy things with bitcoin. However, the vast majority of people areusing it as more of an investment. So you can buy some here,hope that the price goes up andthen turn around and sell it later. However, it’s not all just digital. So there are some bitcoin ATMs thatyou can go to in the real world,put your wallet information in andwithdraw or deposit into them. I don’t know if I would
really use these myself,but it’s a cool idea. Crypto currencies like
bitcoin are a reallyinteresting piece of tech to me,and the idea that they
could be actual currencyis super fascinating. However, how could it all go wrong?The big one is absolutely price. Well yes, bitcoin has skyrocketed invalue this year. There is no guarantee that is going tocontinue in the future. And if you’re not okay
with a really, reallyrisky thing like that,then bitcoin is probably not for you. Even though the blockchain is secure,there’s nothing stopping
someone from beingable to steal your own personal bitcoinusing your wallet. So just like if someone grabs yourreal world wallet and
pulls the cash out of it,if someone has access
to your bitcoin walletthey can absolutely pull
your bitcoin out of it. And this actually happened
to me a few weeks ago. So I used to use this
service called „nicehash“to be able to mine some
crypto currencies andthen turn those into bitcoin,and as I was in the middle of miningthey were hacked and all of thebitcoin were stolen. Mine included. So, like anything,if you have your entire life savingsunder your bed,probably a bad idea. And if you keep all of
your bitcoin in one place,an equally bad idea. Hopefully you guys found
this video useful andmaybe learned a thing or two. If you wanna know more about the miningside of crypto currencies
you can check out myvideo over here. And I’m curious,what do you guys think about bitcoin?To me it’s really exciting. But let me know in the comments belowand I will catch you in the next one.