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.
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.
To open a bitcoin account, you will need to download a bitcoin wallet. A bitcoin wallet is like a bank account and will allow you to store, receive, and spend your bitcoins.
There are different types of wallets available, each providing different features and security measures.
Once you have chosen and downloaded your wallet, you will need to set up an account with a bitcoin exchange. A bitcoin exchange is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell bitcoins using fiat currencies or other cryptocurrencies.
There are many different exchanges available, each offering different features and fees.
Once you have set up an account with a bitcoin exchange and funded your wallet, you will be able to buy and sell bitcoins on the open market. You can also use your bitcoins to make purchases with businesses that accept them as payment.