Bitcoin (BTC) was created to be a new kind of digital currency that could be sent directly from one person to another without the help of intermediaries like banks. It introduced innovations that showed crypto could possibly be as commonly used as cash and credit.

Bitcoin’s big breakthrough came from combining existing ideas like digital currencies and cryptography with a gamechanger of its own called “blockchain” — a technology that records crypto transactions and ownership.

Since crypto is a digital asset, or computer-generated file, anyone can make it and replicate it. Blockchain provides the source of truth to ensure the same bitcoins aren’t spent twice, track which bitcoins are being sent and received, and verify things like whether the sender has enough bitcoins for a transaction.

Bitcoin’s blockchain is also decentralized, meaning it operates on thousands of devices around the world instead of just one central computer, making it very difficult to hack. Someone would have to break into every machine in the network to corrupt the blockchain. This doesn’t mean bitcoin owners are invulnerable to theft. Holding bitcoins is like the digital version of having cash in your pocket and it’s just as susceptible to getting lost or taken.

The invention of Bitcoin set off a crypto revolution that has since inspired thousands of variations on the original, all striving towards the goal of universal adoption. Someday, you might be able to buy just about anything and send money to anyone using bitcoins.

Quick facts

Known as the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto is actually a pseudonym for someone (or some people) whose true identity remains a mystery.

The first purchase involving bitcoins was pizza. Soon after that? Alpaca wool socks.

Worth searching online to learn more about Bitcoin

– Bitcoin halving

– Block mining

– Distributed ledger

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