Over the past few years it has become relatively apparent that bitcoin is not going away. Though rumors of its death are always greatly exaggerated, for a few years it seemed there was a real chance the whole idea may never catch on. The unshakeable association with illicit activities, wallet thefts, exchange heists and other bad press made bitcoin extremely unpalatable among those in society who consider themselves to be professional or upstanding, yet the technology behind bitcoin remains foolproof and unhacked. Today bitcoin enjoys an $11.5 billion dollar market capitalization, making it bigger than the vast majority of all companies listed on the NASDAQ.
So, in the face of its wild-west reputation and intimidating complexity, how does bitcoin continue to succeed and grow in popularity? The answer lies in the engine under the hood: the blockchain. As a reader of this site, you are likely to be already familiar with the idea of decentralized networks and public ledgers, mining and the reward system for adding new blocks to the chain. This original idea by Satoshi Nakamoto has been so tamper resistant over the years that miners collectively pour millions of dollars into their rigs annually, with the daily amount of