Bitcoin works through a system in which it’s possible for a group of people to reach a consensus and agree on a single valid history of transactions by including them in the blockchain.
Bitcoin miners are users who seek a business opportunity by purchasing powerful computers to solve complicated mathematical equations through what is known as proof of work.
The miners are responsible for listening to and reporting all transactions that happen on the network. Miners record the transactions by adding them in batches called blocks.
The mining analogy to gold is misleading. The purpose of mining is not to create Bitcoin but rather to process everyone’s transactions and update the database.
Bitcoin is the first successful decentralized digital currency because it was the first to solve the double-spending problem of spending the same money twice.
Double-spend attacks can happen through a 51% attack, where a hacker captures 51% of the hash power of the network. So far no such attack has occurred due to the difficulty of mining, cost of hardware, and electricity required.
Hugh Brooks, Director of Security Operations, CertiK Moderator: Ed Zitron, Location: Mainstage, SF Jazz Center
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