What Bitcoin is

Back in 2008, the Bitcoin whitepaper was penned by the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. Since then, Bitcoin has become a cultural zeitgeist and climbed its way to over $50,000. But what is Bitcoin, and how does it work? Bitcoin is digital money that was created as a solution for peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions - a decentralized solution with no middlemen, bank fees and waiting for funds. Bitcoin is backed by the blockchain, which is a term that describes an immutable public database holding the history of every Bitcoin transaction - forever. If one wished, they could go through the blockchain and view the very first transaction that used Bitcoin, although this might take a long time to find. Since Bitcoin’s inception, its price has risen a tremendous amount, mainly due to speculation on cryptocurrency exchanges. However, more recently investors have decided Bitcoin can serve as a digital store of value, similar to how gold is a store of value for many nations. As this information has spread, more investors have taken a liking to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole, something early adopters might have never imagined. While Bitcoin was first hailed as a P2P solution, many have run with this store of value thesis and consider it to be the digital gold. Bitcoin was the very first cryptocurrency, and many have tried and failed to replicate its success. While there is only one true Bitcoin on the market - 21 million, to be exact - Bitcoin has led the way for thousands of other coins to come after it. The entire cryptocurrency market cap is over $2.5 trillion, all thanks to Bitcoin.

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