What Is Bitcoin – History, How It Works, Pros & Cons
Bitcoin is a virtual currency, or cryptocurrency, that’s controlled by a decentralized network of users and isn’t directly subject to the whims of central banking authorities or national governments. Bitcoin is by far the most popular and widely used out of hundreds of cryptocurrencies in active use today– the closest equivalent to traditional currencies.
Like traditional currencies, Bitcoin has value relative to other currencies and physical goods. Whole Bitcoin units can be subdivided into decimals representing smaller units of value. Currently, the smallest Bitcoin unit is the Satoshi, or 0.00000001 Bitcoin. The Satoshi can’t be broken into smaller units. However, Bitcoin’s source code is structured to allow for future subdivisions beyond this level, should the currency’s value appreciate to the point that it’s deemed necessary.
Bitcoin is the most versatile cryptocurrency around. It can be used to purchase goods from an ever-growing number of merchants who accept Bitcoin payments. It can be exchanged with other private users as consideration for services performed or to settle outstanding debts. It can be swapped for other currencies, both traditional and virtual, on electronic exchanges that function similar to forex exchanges. And, unfortunately, it can be used to facilitate illicit activity, such as the purchase of illegal drugs & black money.
For all its promise, it is subject to wild value fluctuations. Despite the pronouncements of its proponents, it’s not a legitimate investment or trading vehicle.
How Bitcoin Works
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, meaning it’s supported by a source code that uses highly complex algorithms to prevent unauthorized duplication or creation of Bitcoin units. The code’s underlying principles, known as cryptography, are based on advanced mathematical and computer engineering principles. It’s virtually impossible to break Bitcoin’s source code and manipulate the currency’s supply.
A Bitcoin transaction occurs once it is added to the block chain, at which point it becomes irreversible – unlike traditional payment processors.
Bitcoin’s own source code places a strict limit on the number of Bitcoin units that can ever exist: 21 million. This is achieved by slowing, over time, the rate at which the creation of new block chain copies produces new Bitcoin. Every four years or so, this rate halves. The last Bitcoin is projected to spring into being sometime around 2140 – that is, if the currency still exists and people still care enough to mine it. After that, miners’ sole compensation will be Bitcoin transaction fees.
This enforced scarcity is a key point of distinction between Bitcoin and traditional fiat currencies, which central banks produce by decree, and supply of which is theoretically unlimited. In this regard, Bitcoin has more in common with goldthan the U.S. dollar.
Origins & History of Bitcoin
Bitcoin’s origins date back to the early 1980s, when the algorithms that support modern cryptocurrency were first developed. Its closest predecessor was Bit Gold, a proto-cryptocurrency developed in the late 1990s by Nick Szabo.
Bitcoin’s Birth and Early Development
The first public record of Bitcoin dates to October 2008, when a pseudonymous person or organization known as Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper with the technical outlines for a new, decentralized cryptocurrency. Nakamoto’s identity remains unknown,
Advantages of Using Bitcoin
Disadvantages of Using Bitcoin
The list of merchants that accept Bitcoin is steadily lengthening. You can now buy plane tickets (Expedia), furniture (Overstock), and web publishing services (WordPress) with Bitcoin.
However, before you rush out and cash in your dollars for Bitcoin, remember that Bitcoin has a long way to go before it’s a legitimate currency on par with the U.S. dollar, euro, or pound. And despite the seductiveness of cryptocurrency as a means of exchange, there’s no guarantee that Bitcoin – or any other decentralized, virtual currency not controlled by a national bank – will ever be a viable alternative to traditional currencies.
Some experts believe that, in the coming decades, national governments will rework their currencies with state-sanctioned means of exchange that have some cryptocurrency features, like built-in scarcity and virtually impenetrable counterfeiting protections. Others believe that traditional currency and cryptocurrency will continue to exist in parallel, but that cryptocurrencies will fail to expand beyond the niche currently occupied by gold and other precious metals – that of an alternative investment whose primary purpose is to hedge against inflation.
Did You Know: As Bitcoin grows more valuable (albeit amid gut-wrenching market volatility) and more commonly accepted, so too does the business of mining Bitcoin. But it comes at a notable cost: the consumption of vast amounts of electricity, often powered by non-renewable sources. According to the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, Bitcoin mining consumed approximately 51 trillion terawatts of electricity per year as of February 2018. That figure has risen steadily and inexorably over time, irrespective of day-to-day market movements, prompting policymakers to take a closer look at Bitcoin’s carbon footprint.
India’s strategic forces test fired latest version Agni V on Feb 20, 2018 on medium to intermediate range nuclear capable ballistic missile. The test was conducted from Dr. Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha as a part of annual programmes to test the combat readiness of Indian Army missile forces.
In Indian history, Mysorean rockets were the first iron cased rockets that were successfully deployed for military use. These were used by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan successfully against the British East India Company in 18th
Post-independence, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was formed in 1958 for military’s research and developmentunder the control of Ministry of Defence. The Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) was launched in 1982-83 by the Indian Government which saw the projects of:
Prithvi (Short range surface to surface missile)
Trishul(short range surface to air missile)
Aakash (Medium range surface to air missile)
Nag(Third generation anti-tank missile)
Agni-I(Agni missile was later separated from the IGMDP due to its strategic importance)
After India test-fired the first Prithvi missile in 1988, and the Agni Missile in 1989, the Missile Technology Control Regime decided to restrict missile technologies to India. To counter this move, IGMDP with the help of DRDO laboratories made India capable of making all the technologies indigenously over time.
After the successful competition of IGMDP on 8 Jan 2008, India now develops all its current and future missile as independent projects, with private companies and foreign partners (like Brahmos with Russia).
Dhanush is the naval version of Prithvi missile. It can carry payloads up to 500 kg and target both land-based and sea-based targets.
The K family of missiles is a series of submarine launched ballistic missiles developed by India. They are reported to faster, lighter and stealthier than their Agni missiles counterparts. Example: K-15 (or Sagarika), K-4, K-5 and K-6.
Difference between Ballistic & Cruise Missiles
A BALLISTIC MISSILE is a missile with a high, arching trajectory, which is initially powered and guided but falls under gravity on its target.
A CRUISE MISSILE is a low-flying missile which is guided to its target by an on-board computer. Modern cruise missiles can travel at supersonic or subsonic speeds. Supersonic travel is rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speeds of sound (Mach 1 = 343m/s).
Example: Tomahawk (United States), Nirbhay (India) and Brahmos (India).
Brahmos is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world with a speed of Mach 2.8 – 3 at present. Russia supplies 65 % of its components including its ramjet engine. Brahmos II with a speed of Mach 7-8 is currently under development.
Nirbhay is a long range, all-weather subsonic cruise missile designed and developed in India by DRDO. It can carry conventional and nuclear warheads.
But, India has not signed Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Specifications of Agni missiles (long range nuclear-capable surface to surface ballistic missile).
|Ballistic Missile||Weight (kg)||Payload
|Type of range||Operational range (in km)|
An ICBM is a guided ballistic missile with a minimum range of 5,500 km. It is primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery. Similarly, conventional, chemical, and biological weapons can also be delivered with varying effectiveness.
|Missile Type||Maximum Range (km)||Country|
|Dongfeng 5 and 41||15,000||China|
|LGM-30 Minuteman III||13,000||United States|
|Trident I||12,000||United States|
India has travelled a long way since the development of its IGMDP programme in indigenously developing its missiles technology by the help of DRDO laboratories. With missiles like Agni, Brahmos, etc India has developed a good deterrence mechanism. But, China which has seen standoff with India in recent past is way ahead in these technologies. So recent successful testing of Agni II is a good move and India should keep its readiness and efficiency in missile striking capabilities on track with its Strategic Forces Command.
According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), over 16 million people have been affected by monsoon flooding across India, Nepal and Bangladesh. This is fast becoming one of the most serious humanitarian crises this region has seen in many years and urgent action is needed to meet the growing needs of millions of people affected by these devastating floods. In India over 11 million people are affected by floods in four states across the north of the country.
Hinting at China’s responsibility for the current spate of floods across the northeastern States, India has accused Beijing of not sharing any water-related data about the Himalayan rivers in the current year.
The Brahmaputra and the Sutlej are the two major trans-border rivers that enter India directly from China. There is an existing mechanism named India-China Expert-Level mechanism started in 2006 to share hydrological data during the flood season for Brahmaputra and Satluj rivers. Under the MoUs, the hydrological data is to be shared between May 15 to October 15 every year. However, the same has not been shared this year.
This highlights the need for Regional cooperation to control floods.
• The importance of honing THE Behavioural Skills is growing day by day.
• In the corporate world there is a marked transition from being ‘generic’ and ‘good to have’ to being a ‘pre-requisite’ requirement.
• The shift in perception is not without reason.
• Organisations across the globe have realised that professionals with just technical skills only partly complement the essentials of being a ‘complete professional’.
• It is now believed that the most successful people in a company are not the ones who possess the best technical skills but those who manage their emotions as well as those of their co-workers – the best!
Benefits: The Behavioural Skills Workshop will enable the students to:
Tips & techniques to deal with employees:-