What is Bitcoin?
The founder of Bitcoin is an unknown person or group of people with the pseudonyme Satoshi Nakamoto and released it as open-source software in January 2009. The word bitcoin first appeared and was used and defined in the white paper that was published on 31 October 2008. It is a compound of the words bit and coin. Ticker symbols used to represent Bitcoin are BTC and XBT.
Bitcoin is a digital currency and worldwide payment system. It is the first decentralized cryptocurrency because the whole system functions without a central bank or an administrator. The network is peer-to-peer and users exchange Bitcoin directly, without any middle-men. All tradings are verified by network nodes through the use of cryptography and are recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.
Bitcoins are created as a payment for a process known as mining. Bitcoin can be traded for other cryptocurrencies, products or services in order to replace the real money worldwide. As of February 2015, over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment. Research produced by the University of Cambridge estimates that in 2017, there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a digital currency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.