Before anything, Bitcoin is open source software - anyone can review the code. By design, it's an open project for anyone, anywhere.
Similar to HTTP and SMTP, Bitcoin is an Internet protocol, like your browser and e-mail which you use on a daily basis, it just works.
Bitcoin is not owned or controlled by any one group or company. It is technology, decentralized and based on military grade cryptography.
The world has never seen anything like Bitcoin - indisputably a breakthrough in computer science after decades of research.
The Bitcoin Network is a global consensus network which enables a new, revolutionary "value transfer" system and a new kind of money. As the world's first decentralized peer-to-peer network which is powered by its users and based on mathematics, it is fully-functional and globally secure without the need of a central authority or third-party intermediary. Thousands of nodes (computers) connected over the Internet - and all around the world - operate the Bitcoin open-source software protocol to maintain and validate transactions which occur exclusively via the network-issued and scarce digital token, often referred to as crypto-currency; bitcoin.
The network; Bitcoin - capitalized B - achieves consensus every ten minutes through 1MB - 2MB transaction-filled "blocks" which are timestamped, immutable, and chained together which create a globally distributed "public ledger" called THE "block chain". The Bitcoin Network serves as the global catalyst for the global financial technology revolution which is unfolding as the world begins to learn about - and experiment with - bitcoin wallets and the new Bitcoin Asset Class.
Contrary to frequent gossip, the Bitcoin Network is 100% legal - bitcoin wallets are merely storage technology for your bitcoin.
The most intelligent and successful venture capitalists and tech entrepreneurs on the planet are working on the Bitcoin Network.
Since 2011, there has been more than USD $1.89 Billion invested into the Bitcoin eco-system, outpacing the early Internet itself.
The Bitcoin Network has been growing year-over-year within every major statistical category. And it all begins with bitcoin wallets.
To better understand Bitcoin and bitcoin wallets - although not a specific technical analogy - let's first think about e-mail (SMTP Internet protocol) and e-mail accounts as a simple analogy using familiar buzz words;
The Bitcoin Network has a similar set of bullet points, except this time you're not storing, sending and receiving an e-mail message - it's money. And you'll need to keep it safe! But in fact, Bitcoin, and bitcoin wallets are much more technically complex - and much more revolutionary.
Bitcoin is an Internet protocol - an open source software development which the Bitcoin Network - itself - secures. A bitcoin wallet is a user interface or client application for the Bitcoin protocol, similar to how a "web browser" is the user interface to the HTTP protocol. And just like with browser options and intense global competition, (e.g., Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer) there are many types and brands of bitcoin wallets available for connectivity to the Bitcoin Network.
A Bitcoin Wallet can be very loosely described as an "account" containing a collection of key pairs; private keys and public keys and a bitcoin address. Your bitcoin address which is used for receiving bitcoin from other bitcoin wallets, is derived from your "public key" via a one-way cryptographic hash. Your "private key" is used to generate your public key via a one-way cryptographic function, or elliptic curve multiplication, which is used to "sign" outgoing transactions. Anyone who gains access to your bitcoin "private key" will have access to your bitcoin. A private key is always cryptographically correlated to your bitcoin wallet address but impossible to reverse engineer, therein lies the genius - one of many - behind the invention of Bitcoin Network. In plan English, bitcoin wallets are a modern technology application or "storage vehicle" for "ownership" which facilitates bitcoin transactions on the Bitcoin Network.
Bitcoin Wallets use bitcoin addresses. Often times you will see a "QR CODE" (to scan) representing a bitcoin wallet address via a mobile app to receive bitcoin transactions.
Since we've identified that you can not buy, sell, send, trade, or transact in any way whatsoever with bitcoin on the Bitcoin Network without bitcoin wallets, we hope to provide both education and clarity as to your options and how important this foundational layer of the eco-system is to ensuring a safe experience with this revolutionary technology. Not only are there are dozens of highly funded, reputable and secure global brands which offer bitcoin wallets, there are also several specific categories of bitcoin wallets including various types software and hardware.
Remember, bitcoin is money. Educate yourself.
While bitcoin wallets may seem overwhelming, you can't bypass them - they're required for ownership. Dedicate some time to learn about this emerging industry.
Be sure to review all of the various brands - and categories - of bitcoin wallets available, but please remember to exhale! There's absolutely no need to stress or rush.
When you're comfortable with a bitcoin wallet provider, go for it! But remember, if you're not happy with it, moving your bitcoin to another wallet takes only minutes.
Remember, bitcoin is money. Be sure to secure your bitcoin wallets by following best practices and common sense the same as you would with any other valuable assets.
BitcoinWallets.com is the official global resource for all-things bitcoin wallets. Our exclusive aim is to help bridge the consumer education and marketing gap for humanity as a premium, intuitive and authoritative on ramp to the Bitcoin Network.
We hope to serve - and dramatically help expand - the growing ecosystem by providing up-to-date and comprehensive information including the official global bitcoin wallet directory, venture capital statistics, user-submitted bitcoin wallet reviews, as well as other relevant industry resources, news, jobs, and shopping links.
We invite any-and-all friendly and constructive criticism to help grow our BitcoinWallets.com brand.
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