The most important properties of Bitcoin at a glance
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Bitcoin is the world’s first widely-adopted cryptocurrency. With Bitcoin, people can securely and directly send each other digital money on the internet.
Unlike services like Venmo and PayPal, which rely on the traditional financial system for permission to transfer money and on existing debit/credit accounts, Bitcoin is decentralized: any two people, anywhere in the world, can send Bitcoin to each other without the involvement of a bank, government, or other institution.
How it works
Every transaction involving Bitcoin is tracked on the blockchain, which is similar to a bank’s ledger, or log of customers’ funds going in and out of the bank. In simple terms, it’s a record of every transaction ever made using bitcoin.
Keep in mind
Unlike a bank’s ledger, the Bitcoin blockchain is distributed across the entire network. No company, country, or third party is in control of it; and anyone can become part of that network. There will only ever be 21 million bitcoin. This is digital money that cannot be inflated or manipulated in any way.
Released: January 2009