What is Bitcoin? What is cryptocurrency?

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Bitcoin is a digital currency — also called cryptocurrency
— that can be traded for goods or services with vendors that accept
Bitcoin as payment. With Bitcoin, holders can buy, sell and exchange
goods or services without a central authority or bank as an

Bitcoin is one of the most well-known virtual currencies today, with
its value rising dramatically since its launch in 2009. Satoshi
Nakamoto, the pseudonym of Bitcoin’s creator, stated the purpose of
Bitcoin is as an electronic payment system that is based on cryptographic
proof, instead of trust. Some holders buy bitcoin as an investment,
wanting it to increase in value, while individuals and businesses use or
accept payments as currency. PayPal, for example, currently supports
Bitcoin transactions, and the country of El Salvador has accepted
Bitcoin as a currency.

Bitcoin-to-bitcoin transactions are made by digitally exchanging anonymous, heavily encrypted hash codes across a peer-to-peer (P2P)
network. The P2P network monitors and verifies the transfer of bitcoin
between users. Each user’s bitcoin are stored in a program called a digital wallet, which also holds each address the user sends and receives bitcoin from, as well as a private key known only to the user.

In the U.S., bitcoin are controversial because they can be used to
anonymously transfer illicit funds or hide unreported income from the
Internal Revenue Service. Bitcoin policy now requires transactions that
involve traditional, government-backed currencies to be attached to an

By design, bitcoin supply is limited to 21 million coins of which
18.77 million have already been mined. This makes bitcoin scarce and
controls the inflation that might occur if there was an unlimited supply
of the cryptocurrency. According to the Gadgets 360 article
titled “Bitcoin mining: How Many Coins Can Be Mined in Total and How
Does It Impact Pricing?” 83% of all the bitcoin that will ever exist has
already been circulated.  


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