Bitcoin emerged in 2008 as a response to the financial crisis, with the idea of replacing the physical money that is gone and, mainly, removing the need for intermediation of banks in financial accounts.
The cryptocurrency first appeared in an article published by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym that to this day it is not known whether it is a person or a group of people. The text described how this digital currency worked and created the system that later came to be called “blockchain”, which is like a ledger that records all operations.
Its use was designed to be exactly a digital currency, used to make purchases and make transactions securely, anonymously and quickly. Despite this, given its strong volatility and increase in value, it has become a high-risk investment, being considered by many experts as a store of value, like gold.
Bitcoin uses a complex code, which cannot be changed, and all transactions are protected by encryption. Each transaction is validated by a group of people, called miners, through computers, who record these operations on the blockchain, ensuring the security of the entire system.
It is also through the mining process that new bitcoins are created. As miners validate operations, they complete each “block” in the system (hence the blockchain name). For each finished block, they earn fractions of new bitcoins as a reward, and for every 210,000 blocks this reward drops by half, in a process called “half”.
In Nakamoto's article, it was stipulated that there will be a maximum of 21 million bitcoins in circulation. The expectation is that the “half cut” occurs every four years, which leads to the conclusion that Bitcoin will no longer be mined in 2140.