Will Sweden ever declare independence from China?

Competition for Bitcoin: State crypto money from Sweden, China, Venezuela

Bitcoin is based on what is known as blockchain technology. This describes a decentralized database that is stored on thousands of computers worldwide and is constantly being expanded. It is, so to speak, a long chain of data blocks. All new transactions - for example the purchase of bitcoins - are bundled by a kind of digital accountant and attached to the chain in the form of new blocks. They are rewarded with bitcoins for their work.

The catch of the process: The accountants can only add the data blocks if their computers solve arithmetic tasks that the Bitcoin algorithm specifies. For every new block that is added to the chain, there is competition between the computers. Whoever solves the task first wins.

The tasks get more and more complicated over time. In the past, anyone could do it on their home PC, but today manufacturers are mostly operators of large computer networks. These solve the increasingly complex arithmetic problems. Because that consumes a lot of energy, the producers are mainly based in China because of the cheap electricity and are called miners.

As the arithmetic tasks become more complex, the number of newly produced bitcoins decreases. The algorithm even has an absolute upper limit: it ends at 21 million coins. Over 16 million have already been produced, and the "mining" of new ones is becoming more difficult. Thus, the Bitcoin becomes rarer and more valuable over time.

The system is practically forgery-proof, as there is not only a central database, but the blockchain also exists on a large number of computers: Each participant can compare the existing copies with one another. If a subsequent manipulation is hidden in one, this is immediately apparent due to the many copies.