Important Bitcoin Terms

  • Altcoins: Alternative cryptocurrencies to Bitcoin.
    • Examples: Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc.

  • Bit:  A sub-unit of bitcoin. 1 bitcoin (BTC) = 1,000,000 bits.
    • Note: You can always buy and sell less than one bitcoin.

  • Bitcoin: When the B is capitalized, it represents the overarching concept of Bitcoin: The technology, the community, the protocol, and the software.
  • bitcoin: When the b is not capitalized, it is describing the unit of currency.
  • XBT and BTC: Common abbreviations for bitcoin.
    • Note: There is no difference between these two abbreviations.

  • Confirmation: When a Bitcoin transaction happens, the blockchain confirms the transaction’s validity. The confirmation is done by “miners” & it can take 1 minute to 1 hour to confirm a transaction.
    • Note: There will be multiple confirmations & you should wait for at least 2-3 confirmations before calling a transaction “successful”.

  • Mining: The process of computer hardware doing mathematical calculations for the Bitcoin network to confirm transactions and increase security. Users who use their computers and/or rent resources for mining are call miners.
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