2008 saw Bitcoin’s arrival into the world. It held the long-term promise to provide a brand new means of exchange that would eventually overtake fiat currencies alongside the traditional financial systems and services – courtesy of transparency, security, and privacy in its characteristics. That caught everybody’s attention. Another promise, however, was also there and it was not as widely noticed as the first one. It wasn’t even a promise but a fact.
The technology underlying Bitcoin’s system, which we know as “blockchain,” gave us a system in which two previously unknown parties could transact successfully with each other — without any recourse to mutual trust. This new way to do business was not that novel. Cryptography professors worldwide had been talking about this kind of system for ages, at the level of principles and possibilities. Yet nobody before Satoshi Nakamoto came up with a way to turn all that cryptographic potential into a practical thing that works in real life.
It’s true. You don’t have to trust the person who is buying a Bitcoin from you or vice versa. The record is there in the Bitcoin ledger for all to see. And the ledger has a full copy of itself in every node in the network, so you’re safe.
There is the next question, of course. So yes, you don’t need to trust the other guy. You just need to trust the system, and everything will be ok. But can you trust the system? What if it’s hacked? What if it’s unfair? In this article, we will endeavor to explain why the system is fair; it can’t be rigged, and, most importantly, it is practically impossible to be hacked so that you know for sure that the answer is: yes, you can indeed trust the system.
Keep in mind that the information we present here to you applies to every extant blockchain. Bitcoin was the first one, and it’s still the one that gets most of the world’s attention. But the technology that supports the BTC environment can now be found in many other networks such as Tron or Ethereum to name a couple. Because they share the same basic informational principles as Bitcoin, all these different networks are also safe, provided that they are large enough and are genuine blockchains.