Bitcoin is a digital currency used to make payments over the internet.
It was created in 2009 by a computer programmer known as Satoshi Nakamoto whose real identity has never been discovered.
Bitcoins are created by a process called mining, which involves computers solving complex puzzles to be rewarded with coins. No more than 21 million bitcoins can be created and there are 16 million in circulation, each worth more than $4,300.
Bitcoin exists outside any regulatory framework or central bank support. It is a peer-to-peer system that is supported by “blockchain”, a digital ledger that holds a decentralised record of transactions made in bitcoin. This means that while the ledger is public, buyers and sellers are anonymous.
Users have been drawn to bitcoin because…