I'm not sure how to prove i'm not a noob, so I'll just write a quick essay here on the bitcoin and it's relevance to me, that wasn't copypasted. (feel free to google up parts of it
About a week ago, my friend named Wolf had introduced me in the concept of crypto-currency. At first, I did not give it any attention, as it seemed nonsensical. I did not understand how a such a currency could have value, what could possibly prevent it from being copied or otherwise cheated, and what would even keep it within control.
A few days later, I stumbled upon a PBS Idea Channel video involving it, including a brief explanation about it. It gave me a general understanding, but honestly I didn't really know anything nor did I give a crap.
A little while later, My friend Wolf finally managed to convince me to get into trading LTC, An alternate cryptocurrency, little-brother to BTC, and he sent me my first LTC.
After this, I started researching about cryptocurrency, and have begun to understand it to much greater extents.
From my understanding, here is a summary of what cryptocurrency, and bitcoin, in specific, is.
Bitcoins are a relatively new form of digital and yet decentralized currency that relies on the best cryptography we have as well as peer-to-peer networking, to create a system that allows for the exchange of money in the form of digital "coins" at little to no cost in transaction fees.
Bitcoins are mined by anyone with a computer at a predefined rate, as the computer solves complicated cryptographic puzzles that increase with difficulty over time.
This hard work that takes a significant amount of time makes "bitcoins" and also makes them valuable, as they are mathematically limited.
The bitcoin protocol allowing for only a certain number of coins to be made, at a fairly predictable rate, regardless of the increase of processing power, and the use of more efficient methods of mining.
An example of a more efficient method of mining is ASIC or FPGA based units, with processors specially designed to generate SHA512 hashes using hardware. ASIC miners gain enormous speed improvements over other, more general-purpose hardware options.
This is because a CPU is designed to be able to complete any type of task. Whether it be simple addition, complicated floating-point math, cellular automation, rendering text, managing TCP connections, or running general purpose algorithms. It is capable of all tasks. It is the Central Processing Unit. A general purpose, universal computer. However, a GPU is designed to only function for a small number of specialized things. It is unable to manage it's own memory(I think?), and it is unable to run general purpose computer programs.
However, In the same way that a GPU is a specialized to render 3D graphics, and do intensive floating-point math at greater speeds and efficiencies than a CPU, an ASIC miner is better at hashing in the required method that bitcoin mining is extremely intensive with, and does it at significantly greater speeds.
It no longer has to take dozens if not hundreds of processor instructions/ticks to calculate a hash as it does on a CPU, and it no longer has to take a couple of steps/ticks to calculate the hash as it does on the GPU. Instead, it calculates the hash all in one step. It is instantaneous.
Okay, I think I wrote enough. I know this is overkill, but I'm really bored tonight.
If you liked this short essay on bitcoins. Feel free to tip me. :3
I would like to be able to post in other sections so I may help people with questions as well as ask my own. Also, I'm bored.