Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic cash. It 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.
The European Banking Authority and other sources have warned that bitcoin users are not protected by refund rights or chargebacks. The use of bitcoin by criminals has attracted the attention of financial regulators, legislative bodies, law enforcement, and the media.
Criminal activities involving bitcoin include the operation of online black markets, such as Silk Road; theft of private keys; and fraud.
An official investigation into bitcoin traders was reported in May 2018. The U.
S. Justice Department launched an investigation into possible price manipulation, including the techniques of spoofing and wash trades.
The value of bitcoins has gone up and down over the years since it was created in 2009. When it first started out it was worth very little, but over time has slowly increased in value so that now 1 BTC is worth around $6000 USD.
However, this doesn’t mean that the value will continue to go up at this rate forever. In fact, many experts believe that at some point there will be another crash like we saw in 2017 where the value dropped from $20 000 to $6000 in just a matter of months.
The reason why people think this might happen again is because Bitcoin is still a very volatile asset and it is not yet fully regulated by governments around the world. So if you’re thinking about investing in Bitcoin, be prepared for the possibility that it might lose a lot of its value again in the future.