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 was invented by an unknown person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and released as open-source software in 2009.
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. Bitcoin can also be held as an investment.
According to research produced by Cambridge University in 2017, there are 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.
Investing in Bitcoin is all about speculating on its future price movements. It’s similar to investing in stocks, except much more volatile and without the regulatory safeguards that make stock investing relatively tame by comparison.
So if you’re going to invest in Bitcoin, you need to be prepared for some wild price swings.
Bitcoin is still a young currency, and its price can change significantly from day to day. But if you’re patient and willing to ride out the volatility, you could see some significant gains.
Just be sure to invest only what you can afford to lose, and remember that Bitcoin is a speculative investment — not a sure thing.