Benjamin is a passionate software engineer with a strong technical background, with ambitions to deliver a delightful experience to as many users as possible. He previously interned at Google, Apple and LinkedIn. He built his first PC at 15, and has recently upgraded to iOS/crypto-currency experiments. Benjamin holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from UCLA and is completing a master’s degree in Software Engineering at Harvard University.
In August of 2008, the domain bitcoin.org was registered, and only three months later, a mysterious entity posted the original bitcoin whitepaper. Authored by Satoshi Nakamoto, an entity claiming to be a 36-year old Japanese man, the whitepaper is only a nine page document outlining the core fundamentals of bitcoin, and was followed by the first open source bitcoin client in January of 2009. Satoshi himself mined the first block, called the genesis block, which had a reward of 50 bitcoins.
Bitcoin has recently hit a new all time high, shattering the $5,000 barrier climbing up to over $5800 before settling back in the $5500s. Only two months ago, bitcoin went through a fairly big hard fork, in which a second currency was created: Bitcoin Cash. If you held bitcoin before August 1st, then you technically also hold an equal number of bitcoin cash coins. Bitcoin Cash is an alternative currency, though, and does not share the same value nor market capitalization that bitcoin does.
Social media is all the buzz around...social media. Facebook has 2 billion monthly active users, and generates significant revenue from people browsing and interacting with content in a vertically scrollable list. A feed, so to speak, of posts and information. Realistically, Facebook is only the leader in this race, but there are many more participants.
The process of mining bitcoins is similar to a lottery. Bitcoin miners are competing to produce hashes—alphanumeric strings of fixed length that are calculated from data of an arbitrary length. They are producing the hashes from a combination of three pieces of data: New blocks of Bitcoin transactions; the last block on the blockchain; and a random number. In this article, we will analyse hashing and the digital signature process to understand their use past Bitcoin transaction verification alone.