Introduced in 2009, Bitcoin is an online, digital currency which doesn’t have a central bank or ownership and is often referred to as a peer-to-peer payment system. Bitcoins are generated through a process known as "mining." This involves using specific software to solve maths problems. When a maths problem is solved, the "miner" is rewarded with a Bitcoin. These Bitcoins can then be exchanged for goods and services. Although the number of companies who accept Bitcoins is currently limited, as the currency becomes more well known the number is growing. Bitcoins can also be bought using other currencies. Bitcoin is also a "crypto-currency" which means it uses cryptography to drive the production of Bitcoins and Bitcoin transactions. This makes the currency extremely secure. The "block chain," which is effectively a public book of accounts, is used to check that genuine Bitcoins are being exchanged in all transactions. Bitcoin benefits from no limits of exchange as users can perform instant transactions at an
The Bitcoin currency was first described in a paper in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto. The first Bitcoin software was released in 2009 and large quantities of Bitcoins began to be produced. Some websites started to accept Bitcoins as payment in 2013 and the number is still growing. The first Bitcoin ATM appeared in October 2013 in Canada. In November 2013 there were over 12 million Bitcoins in circulation.
- Satoshi (100000000)
- 3 January 2009