What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a convenient form of digital currency, also known as ‘cryptocurrency’, created and stored online.
Introduced in 2009 by a programmer under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoins are decentralised, meaning they are not available in the physical world, nor controlled by a single entity such as a bank.
Bitcoins are ‘mined’ when several users running computer scripts worldwide solve difficult mathematical problems, leading to an amount of Bitcoin being produced.
This process ensures all transactions are done anonymously, proving popular in markets where anonymity and security is crucial.
A debit card linked to a bank account is not needed and instant, low cost transactions continue to make the electronic currency more popular.
The production of Bitcoins is capped at 21million, however, like the euro or the dollar, a Bitcoin can be divided into halves, quarters and tenths for smaller transactions.
In fact, the smallest denomination of a whole Bitcoin, which fluctuates but is currently worth around 430 euro, is a 0.00000001 and dubbed the ‘Satoshi’, after the founder.
The network has hundreds and thousands of active users at any given moment, which continues to grow on a daily basis as more and more ‘miners’ attempt to earn Bitcoin.