What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin (BTC) is a cryptocurrency designed to act as money and a form of payment outside the control of any one person, group, or entity, thus removing the need for third-party involvement in financial transactions. It is rewarded to blockchain miners for the work done to verify transactions and can be purchased on several exchanges.

Bitcoin was introduced to the public in 2009 by an anonymous developer or group of developers using the name Satoshi Nakamoto.

It has since become the most well-known cryptocurrency in the world. Its popularity has inspired the development of many other cryptocurrencies. These competitors either attempt to replace it as a payment system or are used as utility or security tokens in other blockchains and emerging financial technologies.

  • Launched in 2009, Bitcoin is the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
  • Unlike Fiat currency, Bitcoin is created, distributed, traded, and stored using a decentralized ledger system known as a blockchain.
  • Bitcoin and its ledger are secured by Proof-of-work (PoW) consensus, which is also the “mining” process that introduces new bitcoins into the system.
  • Bitcoin can be purchased via various cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Bitcoin’s history as a store of value has been turbulent; it has gone through several boom and bust cycles over its relatively short lifespan.
  • As the first decentralized virtual currency to meet widespread popularity and success, Bitcoin has inspired a host of other cryptocurrencies in its wake.