什么是比特币?(二)

So you can’t churn out unlimited bitcoins?

所以你不能无限的生产比特币

That’s right. The bitcoin protocol – the rules that make bitcoin work – say that only 21 million bitcoins can ever be created by miners. However, these coins can be divided into smaller parts (the smallest divisible amount is one hundred millionth of a bitcoin and is called a ‘Satoshi’, after the founder of bitcoin).

没错,就是这样。“比特币协议”-比特币的制造规则规定, 只能有2100万枚比特币被矿工创建。然而,这些币能被分割成更小的部分(最小的分割数是一比特币的百万分之一,被称为“Satoshi”,这是来自比特币的创始人的名字)。

What is bitcoin based on?

比特币建立于什么基础上?

Conventional currency has been based on gold or silver. Theoretically, you knew that if you handed over a dollar at the bank, you could get some gold back (although this didn’t actually work in practice). But bitcoin isn’t based on gold; it’s based on mathematics.

Around the world, people are using software programs that follow a mathematical formula to produce bitcoins. The mathematical formula is freely available, so that anyone can check it.

The software is also open source, meaning that anyone can look at it to make sure that it does what it is supposed to.

传统的货币被建立在黄金或白银的基础之上。理论上,你知道,如果你交给银行一美元,你能够拿回一些相应的黄金(仅管这在实际中并不被真实的操作)。但比特币不是基于黄金;它是基于数学之上。

在世界各地,人们正在使用遵循一个数学公式的软件程序生产比特币。这个数学公式可以免费获得,所以任何人都可以检查它。

这个软件也是开放源代码的,意思是任何人可以看到它,以确保这个软件执行它应该做的。

What are its characteristics?

它有哪些特点?

Bitcoin has several important features that set it apart from government-backed currencies.

比特币有几个重要的特征,把它和政府担保的货币区别开来。

1. It's decentralized

1.它是分散的

The bitcoin network isn’t controlled by one central authority. Every machine that mines bitcoin and processes transactions makes up a part of the network, and the machines work together. That means that, in theory, one central authority can’t tinker with monetary policy and cause a meltdown – or simply decide to take people’s bitcoins away from them, as the Central European Bank decided to do in Cyprus in early 2013. And if some part of the network goes offline for some reason, the money keeps on flowing.

比特币网络不是被一个权力中心控制的。每台开采比特币和处理交易的机器组成了这个网络的一个部分,并且这些机器一起工作。它的意思是说,理论上,一个权力中心不能用货币政策修改并导致其崩溃 — 或是简单的决定从人们那里拿走他们的比特币,就象欧洲银行在2013年早期在塞浦路斯决定做的那样。而且如果这个网络的一部分因某些原因离线,这些也钱会不断保持流动。

2. It's easy to set up

2.它很容易开户

Conventional banks make youjump through hoopssimply to open a bank account. Setting up merchant accounts for payment is another Kafkaesque task, beset by bureaucracy. However, you can set up a bitcoin address in seconds, no questions asked, and with no fees payable.

传统的银行简单开一个账户就让你越过层层关卡。创建一个可以支付的商业账户是另一个噩梦般的任务,这被官僚主义困扰。然而,你可以在几秒内开设一个比特币地址,没有任何问题问你,且没有任何费用支付。

3. It's anonymous

3.它是匿名的

Well, kind of. Users can hold multiple bitcoin addresses, and they aren’t linked to names, addresses, or other personally identifying information. However…

这么好!用户可以保持多个比特币地址,并且他们不关联到名称、地址或其它的个人识别信息。然而......

(待续......)

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