Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central bank or single administrator. The network is peer-to-peer and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary.
These transactions are verified by network nodes through the use of 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 be purchased on exchanges, or directly from other people via marketplaces. You can also earn them through competitive mining.
To mine bitcoins, you need to have a special computer designed for that purpose. You will also need to have access to cheap electricity and an efficient internet connection.
The upfront costs to set up a bitcoin mining operation can be considerable, but once up and running it can provide a steady stream of income.
The value of bitcoins has fluctuated wildly since they were first created in 2009. At one point in 2013, they were worth $1240 each before crashing to below $400 just a few months later.
More recently, the price has been on the rise again, hitting over $1000 in January 2017 before dropping back down to around $800 in June 2017.
At current prices, it would cost you around $8000 to purchase $100 worth of bitcoin. However, the price of bitcoin is highly volatile so this figure could rise or fall in the future.
If you’re thinking about purchasing bitcoin, you should do your research first and be prepared for the possibility of prices crashing suddenly.