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.
According to research produced by Cambridge University in 2017, there are 2.9 to 5.
8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.
The first bitcoin transaction took place on January 12, 2009, between Satoshi Nakamoto and Hal Finney, when Nakamoto sent 10 bitcoins to Finney as a test. This was the first time that bitcoins were used in a transaction.
As of May 2018, the total value of all existing bitcoins exceeded 100 billion US dollars, with millions of dollars worth of bitcoins exchanged daily.