Bitcoins are digital cash. They only exist in digital form and are sent peer to peer over the Bitcoin network. Since they are digital they can be transported anywhere in the world as easy as sending an email. Bitcoins are traded for goods and services as well as other currencies. They are stored in a digital wallet on your computer or smartphone. The currency is used by millions of people all over the world every day. Scroll down to learn the basics.
The Bitcoin Network is not controlled or owned by any corporation or individual. Just like the internet, it is an open system that does not require permission to participate and cannot be easily censored. Decentralization also means that the Bitcoin Network is secure because its run by distributed participants all over the world.
Bitcoins are not specific to any one country or region. They can be sent and used anywhere in the world. Bitcoin is the world's first decentralized digital currency
Currencies today are created by central banks and Governments who print new currency as they see fit. This practice devalues your existing currency by expanding the money supply and reducing your purchasing power. Unlike the currencies of today, the supply of bitcoin is finite. This means there will ever only be 21 million bitcoin produced. This makes bitcoin scarce and valuable and immune to devaluation by debasement.
Bitcoin is available to everyone and anyone. There are no requirements to access and use the Bitcoin Network except an internet enabled device. Bitcoin is decentralized and open source so there is no one to block you from using the system.
One whole bitcoin can be divided up to 8 decimal places. This is important because it allows you to send any precise value of bitcoin from pennies to millions. This means you don't have to buy a whole bitcoin. In the current payment system it is impossible to send anything less than 1 dollar online without paying large fees. With bitcoin you can send any amount even a penny. This enables micro transactions, something never possible before bitcoin.
Bitcoin is the most secure and private way to pay for goods and services on the internet. When you use credit cards you leave behind your sensitive payment information with every party you transact with. This leads to fraud and identity theft. Bitcoin transactions are different in that no personal or sensitive payment information is ever revealed or left behind.
You can send bitcoin to anyone anywhere in the world for free. Most bitcoin wallets attach a small fee to speed up the processing of your transaction. Once sent the receiver gets the bitcoin within a couple of seconds.