Beginner’s Guide #4: What is Bitcoin with Stephan Livera

Location: Skype
Date: Tuesday, 14th January
Project: The Stephan Livera Podcast
Role: Host

Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin.

Bitcoin can be intimidating for beginners. The protocol is complicated, the community can be aggressive and unforgiving, silly mistakes can lose you money, and it is easy to succumb to altcoin marketing. 

Bitcoin does though, offer you the opportunity to hold a new type of monetary asset, one which can’t be seized by the government and is censorship resistance and It has the potential to change the way the world. 

The goal of What Bitcoin Did has always been about making things simple; there are no stupid questions, and the show is here to help beginners navigate this new world. To kick off 2020, we are launching a special series to help beginners understand Bitcoin. We will be looking at the basics from breaking down the protocol to explaining the economics and discussing the potential societal shift. 

Beginners Guide Part 4 – What is Bitcoin with Stephan Livera

Despite being considered a high-risk asset, there are many reasons why people continue to buy Bitcoin. For some, Bitcoin is a speculative tool, for others, it is a means of payment, and for some, it is a hedge against local fiat currency risk and hyperinflation. 

It is the unique features of Bitcoin, which is driving adoption, and it is the growth in adoption, which is driving speculation. One key feature of Bitcoin is that it is censorship-resistant, this means that anyone can send anyone else a payment which no third party can block. This was important to Wikileaks when PayPal froze their account and Visa and Mastercard stopped processing payments. Bitcoin became a lifeline for Wikileaks.

The key features of Bitcoin are open to everyone. With a smartphone and an internet connection, anyone can enter this new financial system without requiring permission from the government or an account with a bank. How is this possible? Because Bitcoin is decentralised.

So what makes Bitcoin censorship resistant? What is decentralisation, and why does it matter? And why are trusted third parties security holes?

In Part 4 of The Bitcoin Beginner’s Guide, I ask fellow podcaster Stephan Livera, what is Bitcoin? We discuss how Bitcoin works, its key features such as decentralisation and censorship resistance and the reasons why people might want to own it.