Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that allows for peer-to-peer transactions without the need for a central authority or intermediary. It was created in 2009 by an unknown person or group using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin operates on a blockchain, which is a public ledger that records all transactions in a transparent and secure manner. Each transaction is verified by other users on the network, and once verified, it is added to the blockchain. This makes it difficult for anyone to manipulate the system or double-spend their Bitcoins.
One of the key features of Bitcoin is its limited supply. There will only ever be 21 million Bitcoins in existence, and as of 2021, over 18 million have already been mined. This scarcity has contributed to the value of Bitcoin, which has seen significant price fluctuations over the years.
Bitcoin can be purchased on a cryptocurrency exchange or obtained through mining, which involves using computer power to solve complex mathematical equations and earn new Bitcoins. It can also be used to purchase goods and services from merchants who accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.
While Bitcoin has gained popularity as a decentralized and secure form of currency, it has also faced criticism for its volatility, lack of regulation, and potential for use in illegal activities.