Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic cash. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer Bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries. Bitcoin (₿) is a cryptocurrency. It is a decentralized digital currency with no central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer Bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.
Transactions are verified by network nodes using cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto and was released as open source software in 2009. Bitcoins were created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products and services. Research conducted by the University of Cambridge estimates that in 2017 there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using Bitcoin.
Bitcoin has been criticized for its use in illegal transactions, its high electricity consumption, price volatility, theft from exchanges and by renowned economists saying it "should have a zero price". Bitcoin is also used as an investment, although several regulatory agencies have issued alerts for Bitcoin investors.
The main problem with conventional currency is all the trust it takes to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to devalue the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is littered with violations of that trust. Banks are supposed to be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with little to spare. We need to trust them with our privacy, not let them stop identity thieves from draining our accounts.– Satoshi Nakamoto, founder of Bitcoin