In simple words, BitCoin is a digital currency that was introduced in 2008/2009.
It is a cryptocurrency that is invented by an unidentified programmer/s under name of Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is the first popular cryptocurrency and largest in terms on market value (USD 20 billion).
It is based on the “BlockChain” technology where the transactions are recorded in a public distributed ledger and the transactions are verified by network nodes.
Theoretically, the government can print unlimited physical currency based on the requirements and other foreign & gold reserves. However, this is not the case with BitCoin where the maximum of 21 million bitcoins will be issued in total. Out of this, 16 million coins are in circulation currently.
BitCoins are not printed like dollars or euros, they are generated by people by running computes and solving mathematical problems using software. It is called “BitCoin Mining”. The mining is complicated and require huge computing power. Read more on how bitcoins are produced or mined.
Like other currencies (USD, GBP etc), you can also buy and sell BitCoins. You can trade on BitCoin Exchanges and need BitCoin wallet as well. Current BitCoin price is USD 1200+, however you can buy in decimal units. Read more details on how can you buy BitCoins.
Key features of BitCoin are:
- Decentralized – it is not controlled by any central authority
- Anonymous – it is not linked to any personal information, users can hold multiple bitcoin address.
- Fast – you can send and receive money in minutes
- Transparent – it is based on blockchain technology, which means it is an open ledger and anyone can see the details, however they cannot relate the transaction to individual person.
Read my other posts to know 1) how bitcoin is generated or mined b) how bitcoin transaction works c) how can you buy or sell bitcoin d) other cryptocurrencies similar to BitCoin