Bitcoin is a digitally created currency – or cryptocurrency – based on a decentralized peer-to-peer application and registered on the ‘blockchain’. Invented by a developer using the pseudonym ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ in 2008, Bitcoin was revolutionary in having no central bank to control its uses or movement.
Bitcoin’s value against fiat currencies – like the dollar or the euro, whose value is established by the government that backs them – is determined by supply and demand and by market events. Investors now see Bitcoin as a valuable alternative to other traditional government-backed currencies. Bitcoin (BTC) is actively traded against most of the other major currencies in the world and is held in digital wallets. These wallets have private and secure encryption and allow users to transfer Bitcoin to other users privately and safely.