Bitcoin is a decentralized virtual currency. Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are made with no middle men – meaning, no banks! There are no transaction fees and no need to give your real name. More merchants are beginning to accept them: You can buy webhosting services, pizza or even manicures. This currency is exchanged digitally and managed by a peer-to-peer network, rather than a central bank or authority. The supply of Bitcoins is automated and released to mining servers; with a limit of 21 million Bitcoins being reached by 2140. Each Bitcoin is a piece of code that has its own transaction log with timestamps. The coins are stored in an owner's virtual wallet and can be transferred and exchanged for goods and services. Transactions are public and although they are relatively anonymous, it is possible trace identities back to real-life individuals. There is debate as to whether or not Bitcoin should be considered a currency, a commodity, or a hybrid of both.
The bitcoin price is very volatile and has seen some large fluctuations since its inception in 2011 when you could buy one bitcoin for just a few cents. Since then the bitcoin price has increased each year until it reached its high of $1200 per bitcoin in late 2013. After that, the bitcoin price has declined to $300-$200 per bitcoin where it has stayed for quite some time. Now it would seem that the bitcoin price might be on its way up again. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system.