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