Bitcoin 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. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.
Bitcoin is unique in that there are a finite number of them: 21 million.
NOTE: WARNING: Before buying and selling Bitcoin, it is important to understand the risks associated with cryptocurrency trading. Cryptocurrency prices are highly volatile and can experience rapid changes in value. As such, there is no guarantee that you will always be able to buy and sell Bitcoin immediately or for a profit. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the regulations that apply to cryptocurrency trading in your jurisdiction as different countries have different laws regarding the purchase and sale of digital assets. Finally, it is strongly advised to only trade on secure exchanges and never leave your funds on an exchange wallet for extended periods of time.
Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services.
As of February 2015, over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment.