Bitcoin is an open network for transferring value via an internet-native money.
- Created by Satoshi Nakamoto
- White paper published in 2008
- Network and asset have share the same name
The Bitcoin network itself is a record of payments for the internet built to be permissionless—anyone can use it—and decentralized—no one controls it. These features were chosen so Bitcoin could support a new financial system without intermediaries or gatekeepers.
A global network of thousands of computers called nodes participate in using and securing the network by running the Bitcoin software. Each node keeps a copy of the network’s transaction history, which updates in real time, to prevent fraud and verify which bitcoins belong to what user.
Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonymous cryptography developer, created Bitcoin.
- A white paper with their ideas was first published in October 2008.
- The first Bitcoin block was mined on January 3, 2009.
Although many attempts to build similar projects came before it, Bitcoin is the first successful cryptocurrency.
The name Bitcoin refers to two separate parts of the system: the protocol and the asset. To differentiate the two, standard practice now uses a lowercase b and the ticker BTC for the asset. The protocol itself carries an uppercase B.
All bitcoins can be split into tiny fractions. The smallest sub-unit of a bitcoin is called a “satoshi.” 1 BTC is the same as 100 million satoshis. Put differently, 1 satoshi equals 0.00000001 BTC.