Bitcoin is a digital asset and a payment system invented by Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public dispersed 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.
The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank of the 19 European Union countries which have adopted the euro. The ECB’s main task is to maintain price stability in the euro area and so preserve the purchasing power of the single currency.
The ECB is one of the world’s most important central banks and its decisions influence international capital markets. It is therefore closely watched by market participants.
The value of a bitcoin can fluctuate greatly and is not pegged to any one currency. The euro is used here for illustrative purposes only.
As of June 2017, one bitcoin was worth approximately €2,700.