What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency that has the characteristics of traditional currencies but is verified by cryptography. Created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 as an electronic payment system based on complex mathematical algorithms, it still remains the most popular cryptocurrency today.
Bitcoins are built and stored electronically in a digital wallet app on a computer or smartphone. Bitcoins can be sent between digital wallets without passing through a centralized authority such as a bank or other payment gateway.
The three ways to get Bitcoins are to buy them with real money, receive payment in Bitcoins or to create them on a computer using a process called mining. Mining is simply the process of verifying a crypto transaction. People around the world transfer e-coins from wallet to wallet, while miners use huge computer processing power in order to maintain the blockchain and verify transactions. When a new crypto is released, the founders will announce how many coins will be mined. After that quota is reached, no further coins can be produced.
Bitcoins can be spent fairly anonymously which makes them popular although every Bitcoin transaction is recorded on a public list known as the blockchain, nobody would know which account number belonged to you unless you told them. Although this is an attractive proposition for some, it does mean that Bitcoins can be used for trading on the black market, specifically the dark web.