How to perfectly describe Bitcoin to anyone in ONE, short sentence

For years now the digital money community has been struggling with describing what Bitcoin is and why is it so important. Bitcoin and blockchain technology are very complex in many ways so this naturally leads to difficulties. Using non-technical terms is especially challenging for many digital money enthusiasts.

Describing Bitcoin quickly becomes challenging because it can have different relevancies to different people. The understanding of Bitcoin is affected by context and because there are so many directions a Bitcoin conversation can take, it is easy to become quickly lost in confusion. When describing Bitcoin to anyone it is important to discover where their interest lies and in what context to describe the technology. It is also important to establish the expected level of technical depth within the conversation. All of these challenges can be overcome with one simple sentence.

There are essentially three definitive points that describe Bitcoin in its entirety and they can be delivered as follows:

“Bitcoin is digital money that is tamperproof and openly traded.”

The three points are very precise, accurate and create immediate understanding of the entire concept. Any questions to follow this sentence will lead to exploration that is tailored to the information needs of the listener.

Let’s take a look at the three points.

Digital Money

Everyone understands what digital money is now. Everyone uses some form of digital money or is aware of how transferring money can be accomplished in a digital world. This is also the least exciting of the topics for discussion so it is the right start. Although Bitcoin is technically quite different from other forms of familiar digital money, conceptually it is the same. This makes it comprehendible to anyone.


This is the foundation for the security and resiliency of the network. No other system is tamperproof, websites and services get hacked all the time. Networks fail and data gets corrupted. Bitcoin and it’s decentralized network of blockchain wonder is the basis for a tamperproof system. No other technology can claim to be tamperproof and this point leads discussion towards this interest. This is a unique characteristic of Bitcoin and is where the conversation becomes far more exciting and engaging. This is where more technical questions and dialog would occur but even in the absence of those questions anyone can understand what it means to be tamperproof.

Openly Traded

This is the basis for people to understand the nature of how and where Bitcoin gets its value. People who are interested in this topic may be less inclined to technical discussion but are more interested in the economic elements related to Bitcoin. Other commodities and securities are openly traded and many people understand the nature of price fluctuations from this type of activity. This portion of discussion can lead to any or all of the economic aspects of what makes Bitcoin unique and is further strengthened by the previous point about being tamperproof. Almost every other kind of financial instrument is openly traded and anyone understands how the value of stocks fluctuate as a result of open trading.

These three points create a very concise path to understanding everything about Bitcoin using words that anyone can understand. These points are intended to generate questions that are directed towards certain topics. Elaboration on the topics can follow the direction of the inquiries and level of interest. Both the tamperproof and openly-traded aspects also lead into discussion about the benefits of open source software as well as other more broad topics that are related to digital money.

If you have been struggling with explaining Bitcoin and digital money to people, try the sentence and see how the reactions you get differ from your previous results.


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