Bitcoin Profile

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Summary:

Bitcoin is a worldwide cryptocurrency and digital payment system invented by an unknown programmer, or a group of programmers, under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. It was released as open-source software in 2009.

The system is peer-to-peer, and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary. These transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Since the system works without a central repository or single administrator, bitcoin is called the first decentralized digital currency.

Besides being created as a reward for mining, bitcoin can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services.

Read my article What Is Bitcoin? for more detail.

Videos:

Quick Summary (2 minutes):

In-Depth Overview (1 hour):

Exchanges:

Because Bitcoin is the most popular and valuable cryptocurrency, it is listed on over 400 exchanges worldwide.  For this reason, I will list the major exchanges by trade volume and popularity.  Coinbase has a great reputation, is easy to use and is insured, but it is not available worldwide.  Kraken is available worldwide, also has a good reputation, but is not beginner friendly.  Poloniex and Bittrex are also good exchanges from a US perspective.  Here is a great article that ranks and compares exchanges.

Websites:

Open Source Informational Website: Bitcoin.org

Key Exchange To Start: Coinbase

Faucet: FreeBitco.in

Online Wallet: Blockchain.info

News: Coindesk

Market Analytics: BitcoinWisdom