BIT: The Word of the Month May 2017

Every month, we take a look at a word in the headlines, in English, for your English. See more at The Word of the Month.

Definition

A bit (noun): a small amount

Also: a binary digit (0 or 1)

Don’t confuse with: A computer byte (1 byte = 8 bits). Past tense of ‘to bite’. Ex: I bit my dog to show dominance.

Bits in the News

In May, a massive cyberattack hit computers, encrypting data unless a ransom was paid, in bitcoins.

Though the hack affected 200,000 computers in 150 countries, only 28.29 bitcoins were reportedly paid ($70k). A bit disappointing.

What’s a bitcoin?

Created by Scrooge McDuck Satoshi Nakamoto (pseudonym), and inspired by anarchist ideals in defiance of central banks, bitcoins are an encrypted digital currency using a borderless network based on computing power, verified by nodes, recorded in blockchains. They are minted and mined by investing electricity. Following? (Not following? Check Wikipedia)

Pros and co(i)ns

Coins
Pros: Real
Cons: Heavy

Bitcoins
Pros: Don’t get lost in couch
Cons: They’re a bit too complicated

Take a look through our Word of the Month archives, or improve your English with gymglish.com and richmorning.com.

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