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What is Bitcoin?
Launched in 2009, Bitcoin has established itself as the leading cryptocurrency of the age and the catalyst for a new era of blockchain-based digital assets. Bitcoin’s author is the nebulous Satoshi Nakomoto, who published the whitepaper: Bitcoin: An Electronic Peer to Peer Cash System towards the end of 2008. Since then, Nakamoto’s invention has revolutionised digital payments, remittances, supply chain management and many other industries. The majority of modern tokens are clones of Bitcoin’s open-source code-base, granting them the name of Alt(alternative)coins.
Altcoins have made a huge splash in recent times. The kickstarter was Ethereum, which launched in 2015 and added smart contract functionality to Satoshi’s blockchain. The open-source nature of Ethereum allows developers to use the smart contract functionality in order to create a host of new tokens and applications. Naturally, some of these will fade away, but some are adding real value to the ecosystem and to peoples lives.