The first decentralized cryptocurrency.
- Bitcoin (BTC) is a decentralized digital currency on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network.
- Launched in 2009, Bitcoin is the world’s first cryptocurrency, and is also the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
- Bitcoin exists on a decentralized ledger system called a blockchain.
- Bitcoin uses proof-of-work (PoW) for consensus, which makes it computationally infeasible for malicious actors to tamper with transaction records or include false transactions unless they have 51% control of the nodes operating the bitcoin network.
- As outlined in its whitepaper, bitcoin was created as “a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash [that] would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution”.
- The total supply of bitcoin is 21,000,000 coins. Since its launch, approximately 20% of all bitcoins have been lost or mis-sent. The hard cap of 21 million bitcoins makes bitcoin a deflationary asset.
- Bitcoin was invented in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, who might be a person or a group of people. Several people have claimed or were thought to be Satoshi, but their true identity has never been verified or revealed.