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Why Bitcoin Isn’t Tied To Traditional Banking

Why Bitcoin Isn’t Tied To Traditional Banking

Jan 30, 2024
Bitcoin Basics

Why Bitcoin Isn’t Tied To Traditional Banking

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, known as a cryptocurrency, that operates without the need for a central authority, such as a bank or government. Instead, it relies on a decentralized network of computers to manage its transactions and the issuance of new coins.

Decentralized Network

The backbone of Bitcoin is its network of nodes, which consists of individuals and organizations running the Bitcoin software. These nodes work collectively to validate and record all transactions on the blockchain, which is a public ledger that maintains the history of all Bitcoin transactions. This decentralized approach ensures that no single entity has control over the network, enhancing the security and integrity of the entire system.

Supply and Issuance

One of the core principles of Bitcoin is its limited supply. There will only ever be 21 million bitcoins in existence. This scarcity is encoded into the software itself and is enforced by the nodes that maintain the network. The supply limit is a deliberate design choice to mimic commodities like gold and to create a store of value that could resist inflation.

New bitcoins are introduced into the system through a process called mining. Miners use powerful computers to solve complex mathematical problems, and in return, they are rewarded with new bitcoins. This process occurs approximately every ten minutes, and the amount of new bitcoins awarded per block is halved approximately every four years in an event known as the "halving." As of the knowledge cutoff in 2023, the reward stands at 6.25 bitcoins per block and will continue to decrease until the last bitcoin is mined around the year 2140.

Transaction Clearing

Unlike traditional banking systems, Bitcoin does not require a central institution to clear transactions. Instead, transactions are verified by nodes through a process of consensus. When a transaction is initiated, it is broadcast to the network, and nodes begin the work of validating the transaction against the blockchain's history to ensure that the same bitcoins have not been spent twice.

When a transaction is confirmed, it is bundled with other transactions into a new block. This block is then added to the blockchain, and the transaction is considered cleared and irreversible. This peer-to-peer transaction validation and clearing process is what enables Bitcoin to operate independently of a central authority.


Bitcoin represents a significant shift in the concept of money and banking. Its decentralized nature and limited supply challenge traditional financial systems and offer an alternative that is not subjected to the influence of central banks or government policies. As the network of node operators adhere to the pre-determined rules of the Bitcoin protocol, they ensure the integrity and scarcity of the digital currency, potentially making Bitcoin a viable digital commodity for the future.


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