Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic cash. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator. Bitcoins can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network directly, without the need for intermediaries. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.
Bitcoin was developed by an anonymous person (or group of people) under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto and released in January 2009. The invention of blockchain is also attributed to Satoshi Nakamoto, who after inventing, developing, and releasing both the technology and the coin, mined the first block and slowly popularized the coin. Bitcoin started gaining traction in 2013 and has rapidly grown since then, becoming a household name and spurring the creating of many other coins, known as altcoins.
Though today there are many popular alternatives to Bitcoin, Bitcoin is still recognized as the first cryptocurrency ever and remains the most prominent.
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