Bitcoin (BTC) was the first cryptocurrency to be created and remains the world’s leading cryptocurrency by market cap. Bitcoin is a global peer-to-peer electronic payment system that allows parties to transact directly with each other without the need for an intermediary such as a bank.
The Bitcoin whitepaper, which outlined how this revolutionary new currency would work, was released in 2008, and the Bitcoin network launched in 2009. Since its launch Bitcoin has experienced no downtime, allowing anyone to transfer value at any time and from anywhere.
Bitcoin’s creator goes by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, their real identity remains unknown to this day. It is also unclear whether Nakamoto represents a single person or a group of individuals who worked on the Bitcoin project.
Bitcoin is often regarded as the digital alternative to both fiat currencies and gold. That is because Bitcoin can be spent and saved just like traditional money, but is also a scarce finite resource and thus good store of value like gold.