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What Does Cryptocurrency Mean And How Is It Extracted?

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Digital currencies are constantly talked about these days. But despite their rising popularity, many people still do not know what cryptocurrency (also known as digital currency) means, and why these currencies are used in today’s world.

The most important feature of digital currency is its decentralisation i.e., no particular institution, organisation, or government controls it.

As a result, governments are no longer involved in managing and advancing existing projects in the blockchain network. The China blockchain is a vast network through which digital currencies are exchanged.

It is possible to use different types of digital currencies for different financial transactions, from different parts of the world. Public and private keys are required to perform any digital currency transaction on a large scale.

These keys increase the security of operations with digital ciphers. In fact, transactions with cryptocurrencies are performed using a transaction path encryption processes.

In traditional, digital transaction methods, a large amount is received as a fee for the exchange of currencies and transactions by intermediary financial institutions and banks. But doing different activities with different types of digital currencies is no longer such a problem. This means that such financial transactions are possible in return for a very small amount of commission now.

Who Invented Bitcoin?

Few people are aware of the origins of digital currencies. Bitcoin (BTC) is the most famous digital currency and it has been created by Satoshi Nakamoto.

The identity of this person is not completely known. There are theories which state that it may be a fake name for a group of people who have produced and designed the first digital currency.

Many believe that Satoshi Nakamoto, the name of the founder of bitcoin, is an alias. Representational Image. Photo credit: Flickr.

BTC happens to be the first and most important digital currency. It is more exposed than other types of digital currencies. More precisely, it is receiving a lot of attention in the digital world. It determines the price of other currencies and therefore, has tremendous effects on the path that other digital currencies take.

Before the idea of ​​designing and producing digital banknotes came to the fore, BTC was introduced as a currency in which there was no intermediary (banks and other financial institutions) between the sender and the recipient, to trade and carry out various financial transactions.

All kinds of digital currencies are produced through mining by experts. Mining can be understood as the process of extraction by these experts, who use sophisticated methods and computers to do so.

Inner Workings Of Digital Currency

There is something known as a “hash” which comes into play when extracting digital currency. A hash is actually a mechanism that links each block of information in the Chinese blockchain network to its previous block.

Digital currency miners do their job by generating each block and adding it to the blockchain. Advanced computers are needed to be able to extract digital currencies. This process also consumes a lot of electricity.

The high power consumption used to extract digital currencies has become a major concern for miners. Some governments believe that this amount of electricity will be really costly.

Extracting Digital Currency Explained

Let us understand the process of extracting digital currency in seven steps:

Step 1: A user makes a transaction through the cryptocurrencies in their wallet and tries to send their desired digital currency, or token, to someone else.

Step 2: This transaction is distributed through the wallet program and it waits to be selected by a miner on this Chinese block. This transaction is suspended in the “unverified transaction pool” until a miner selects it.

This pool is a collection of unverified transactions on the network, awaiting processing. Unapproved transactions are not usually collected in a large pool, but in small, classified pools.

Step 3: The miners in the network (sometimes called ninety) select the transactions from these pools and form them into a “block”. A block basically contains a set of transactions, which does not include unverified transactions at the moment, in addition to some additional information such as digital signatures, timers etc.

Each miner creates his own transaction block, and several miners can select the same transaction to be included in their block.

For example, consider two miners A and miner B. Both miners A and B can decide to include transaction X in their block. Each China block has its own maximum block size. In the blockchain of BTC, the maximum block size is 1 MB. Before adding a transaction to their block, miners should check whether the transaction is eligible for execution, given China blockchain history.

If the sender’s wallet balance is adequate as per their records, the transaction is considered valid and can be added to the block. Miners usually prioritize a transaction that has a high transaction cost, as it provides a higher reward for them.

Miners tend to prefer transactions with a high transaction cost so they can earn a higher reward. Representational Image.

Step 4: Miners create a block of transactions by selecting certain transactions and adding them to their block. They need a signature in the blockchain to add a block of transactions. This signature, also known as proof of work, is made by solving a very complex mathematical problem and is unique to each block of transactions. Each block has a different math problem.

So, each miner will work on a different issue specific to his block. Each of these problems is so difficult to solve that it requires a lot of computing power and electricity. This process is called mining.

Step 5: A miner who can find the first eligible signature for his block, will publish this block and its signature to other miners.

Step 6: The other miners must now verify the signature’s validity using the distributed block data and check whether the output hash matches the existing signature. If they match, other miners will validate it. As a result this, the block can be added to the Chinese block.

In fact, the miners reach a consensus that they all agree on. Hence, it is called the “consensus algorithm”. Once the signature has been published and all the computing power has been used, the block can be added to the China block. It is then sent to all other nodes on the network.

Other nodes accept this block and store it in their transaction data, as long as the transactions in the block are correctly matched to the current wallet balance (transaction history).

Step 7: Once a block is added to the chain, the “confirmation” of the blocks which get added after it counts.

For example, if your transaction is registered in block 502 and the Chinese block has 507 blocks, it means that your transaction has five confirmations: 502 to 507.

What Does Confirmation Mean?

The reason it is called confirmation is that every time another block is added after it, the Chinese block again reaches a full consensus on the transaction history, including your transaction and your block.

As a result, you can say that your transaction has been verified five times by the blockchain. This is exactly what the “etherscan” site refers to when displaying your transaction details.

The more verified your transaction is i.e., the deeper a block is in the chain, the harder it will be for hackers to change it. After a new block is added to the China block, all miners must start again from the third stage and form a new block of transactions.

Featured image is for representational purposes only.
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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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