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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is an innovative payment network and a new kind of money.

Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system.

Why should I use Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the simplest way to exchange money at very low cost.

Mobile payments made easy

Bitcoin on mobiles allows you to pay with a simple two step scan-and-pay. No need to swipe your card, type a PIN, or sign anything. And all you need to do to receive Bitcoin payments is to display the QR code in your Bitcoin wallet app and let your friend scan your mobile, or touch the two phones together (using NFC radio technology).

Security and control over your money

Bitcoin transactions are secured by military grade cryptography. Nobody can charge you money or make a payment on your behalf. So long as you take the required steps to protect your wallet, Bitcoin can give you control over your money and a strong level of protection against many types of fraud.

Works everywhere, anytime

Just like with email, you don't need to force your family to use the same software or the same service providers. Just let them stick to their own favorites. No problem there; they are all compatible as they use the same open technology. The Bitcoin network never sleeps, even on holidays!

Fast international payments

Bitcoins can be transferred from Africa to Canada in 10 minutes. There is no bank to slow down the process, level outrageous fees, or freeze the transfer. You can pay your neighbors the same way as you can pay a member of your family in another country.

Zero or low fees

Bitcoin allows you to send and receive payments at very low cost. Except for special cases like very small payments, there is no enforced fee. It is however recommended to pay a higher voluntary fee for faster confirmation of your transaction and to remunerate the people who operate the Bitcoin network.

Protect your identity

With Bitcoin, there is no credit card number that some malicious actor can collect in order to impersonate you. In fact, it is even possible to send a payment without revealing your identity, almost just like with real money. You should however take note that some effort can be required to protect your privacy.

How does Bitcoin work?

Forget most things you've heard. People discover Bitcoin in a variety of ways, but usually pick up some sort of misconception like "Bitcoin gives free money to people with computers" or "in order to use Bitcoin I have to use a program that wastes electricity for nothing" along the way. Here is a good summary to help you understand Bitcoin in general, by focusing on what Bitcoin is and what problem it solves. These two things are not typically well explained on most websites, and it is difficult to appreciate just how effective a technology Bitcoin is until they are understood.

What Bitcoin is: An agreement amongst a community of people to use 21 million secure mathematical tokens--"bitcoins"--as money, like traditional African and Asian societies used the money cowry. Unlike the money cowry:

This is accomplished by the use of powerful cryptography many times stronger than that used by banks. Instead of simply being "sent" coins have to be cryptographically signed over from one entity to another, essentially putting a lock and key on each token so that bitcoins can be securely backed up in multiple places, and so that copying doesn't increase the amount you own.

Because bitcoins are given their value by the community, they don't need to be accepted by anyone else or backed by any authority to succeed. They are like a local currency except much, much more effective and local to the whole world. As an example of how effective the community is at "backing" the bitcoin: on April 4th 2011 30,000 bitcoins were abruptly sold on the largest Bitcoin exchange, consuming nearly all "buy" offers on the order book and dropping the price by nearly 1/3. But within a couple of days, the price on the exchange had fully rebounded and bitcoins were again trading at good volumes, with large "buy" offers slowly replacing the ones consumed by the trades. The ability of such a small economy (there were only 5 million out of the total 21 million bitcoins circulating then, or about 3.75 million USD worth at then-current exchange rates) to absorb such a large sell-off without crashing shows that bitcoins were already working beautifully.

What problem Bitcoin solves: Mathematically, the specific implementation of the bitcoin protocol solves the problem of "how to do all of the above without trusting anyone". If that sounds amazing, it should! Normally a local currency has to trust all kinds of people for it to be able to work. So does a national currency. And in both cases, that trust is often abused. But with Bitcoin, there's no one person who can abuse the system. Nobody can print more money, nobody can re-use the coins simply by making a copy, and nobody can use anyone else's coins without having direct access to their keys. People who break its mathematical "rules" simply end up creating a whole different system incompatible with the first. As long as these rules are followed by someone, the only way Bitcoin can fail is for everyone to stop using it.

This marvelous quality of not having to trust anyone is achieved in two ways. First, through the use of cutting-edge cryptography. Cryptography ensures that only the owner of the bitcoins has the authority to spend them. The cryptography used in Bitcoin is so strong that all the world's online banking would be compromised before Bitcoin would be, and it can even be upgraded if that were to start to happen. It's like if each banknote in your pocket had a 100-digit combination lock on it that couldn't be removed without destroying the bill itself. Bitcoin is that secure.

But the second way of securing the system, called the blockchain, is where the real magic happens. The blockchain is a single, authoritative record of confirmed transactions which is stored on the peer to peer Bitcoin network. Even with top-notch digital encryption, if there was no central registry to show that certain bitcoins had already been "paid" to someone else, you could sign over the same coins to multiple people in what's called a double-spend attack, like writing cheques for more money than you have in your account. Normally this is prevented by a central authority, the bank, who keeps track of all the cheques you write and makes sure they don't exceed the amount of money you have. Even so, most people won't accept a cheque from you unless they really trust you, and the bank has to spend a lot of money physically protecting those central records, whether they are kept in a physical or digital form. Not to mention, sometimes a bank employee can abuse their position of trust. And, in traditional banking, the bank itself doesn't have to follow the rules you do--it can lend out more money than it actually has.

The blockchain fixes all these problems by creating a single master registry of the already-cryptographically-secured bitcoin transfers, verifying them and locking them down in a highly competitive market called mining. In return for this critical role, the Bitcoin community rewards miners with a set amount of bitcoins per block, taken from the original limited quantity on a pre-agreed schedule. As that original amount gradually runs out, this reward will be replaced by fees paid to prioritise one transaction over another--again in a highly competitive market to ensure the lowest possible cost. The transactions are verified and locked in by the computational work of mining in a very special way so that no one else can change the official record of transactions without doing more computational work than the cumulative work of all miners across the whole network.

In conclusion: All this mathematical technology may be a bit of a mouthful, but what it means in practice is that Bitcoin works just like cash. Bitcoin transactions are intentionally irreversible--unlike credit cards or PayPal where chargebacks can invalidate a payment that has already been made. And there are no middlemen. Transactions are completed directly between the sender and the receiver via the peer to peer network.

Because of Bitcoin's intricate design, the network remains secure no matter where or how you process Bitcoin transactions. Which is incredible--no one else has ever tried to create a system that worked this way! All previous monetary systems have relied on trusting somebody, whether it was the king, town hall, the federal reserve, or banks. Bitcoin doesn't. It's guaranteed instead by the laws of mathematics, and that's why it has everyone from technologists to economists very excited. I'm sure you have lots more questions, so scan the index below to see if they've been asked before, then dive in! The so-called "canonical" threads linked from this index are considered newbie-friendly zones; outside of them you're welcome to try your own luck.

Copied from https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=7269.0.

Bitcoin Wallet

Create a bitcoin web wallet in 1 easy step. If you wish to create the wallet yourself (recommended) instead of doing it through our website,please visit https://blockchain.info/wallet/new.

Please use a valid email address in the form below as you will need to verify your email before you can start using your web wallet.

If you sign up for a web wallet, you do not need to download any software to earn or spend Bitcoins and can do so with a simple login URL (that you will get after submitting the form below) and password.

We do not store any of the data that is used to create your wallet, so please make sure that you save these details somewhere safe.

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SEEDS FOR YOUR NEXT ROLL

Server Seed Hash
(SHA-256)
Client Seed
Nonce

PREVIOUS ROLL DETAILS
You haven't rolled yet!

How are rolls calculated?

  1. Two strings are created :
    STRING1 = "[NONCE]:[SERVER SEED]:[NONCE]"
    STRING2 = "[NONCE]:[CLIENT SEED]:[NONCE]"
  2. Then HMAC-SHA512 is used to hash STRING1 with STRING2 giving us a 128 character hex string.
  3. The first 8 characters of the hex string are taken and converted to a decimal.
  4. This decimal is then divided by 429496.7295 and rounded up to the nearest whole number.
  5. This whole number is used as your roll, with the maximum possible value being 10,000.
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If you had entered an email address during signup, please type it in below and a password reset link will be sent to you.

If you are not receiving password reset emails from us, please add [email protected] to your address book and then try again.

If you did not enter an email address during signup, then you need to sign your email address with your Bitcoin address and send it to us.

Instructions for signing messages :

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ADVANCED TRACKING USING TAGS

You can track the visits and signups that you are getting from multiple traffic sources by adding the tag parameter (&tag) to your referral URL.

For example, to track the visits and signups from Source 1, add &tag=source1 to your referral URL and then promote that URL (http://freebitco.in/?r=&tag=source1) and you will be able to see the signups and visits from that source by selecting source1 in the dropdown menu below.

You can create as many tags as you want on the fly and they can be a string of upto 150 characters comprising of small and large case letters and numbers, excluding the number 0.

SELECT A TAG TO VIEW ITS STATS
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If you are found to be breaking any of the above rules or trying to gain an unfair advantage to abuse the service, your account will be deleted and your account balance forfeited.

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