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.
Bitcoin is an asset class because it has all the properties of one. It is scarce, durable, portable, divisible, and has utility. Bitcoin also has other characteristics that make it an attractive investment.
It is decentralized, borderless, and permissionless. These characteristics make it resistant to government control and manipulation.
Bitcoin is still in its early stages and its price is volatile. But as it matures, it could become a more stable store of value and a viable investment asset class.