What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. No one controls it. Bitcoins aren’t printed, like dollars or euros – they’re produced by people, and increasingly businesses, running computers all around the world, using software that solves mathematical problems.

It’s the first example of a growing category of money known as cryptocurrency.

What makes it different from normal currencies?

Bitcoin can be used to buy things electronically. In that sense, it’s like conventional dollars, euros, or yen, which are also traded digitally. However, bitcoin’s most important characteristic, and the thing that makes it different to conventional money, is that it is decentralized. No single institution controls the bitcoin network. This puts some people at ease, because it means that a large bank can’t control their money.

Who created it?

A software developer called Satoshi Nakamoto proposed bitcoin, which was an electronic payment system based on mathematical proof. The idea was to produce a currency independent of any central authority, transferable electronically, more or less instantly, with very low transaction fees.

What is a satoshi?

A Satoshi is the smallest fraction of a Bitcoin that can currently be sent: 0.00000001 BTC, that is, a hundredth of a millionth BTC. In the future, however, the protocol may be updated to allow further subdivisions, should they be needed.

Further examples of units

1 BTC = 1,000 mBTC (millibitcoin)
1 BTC = 1,000,000 μBTC (microbitcoin)
1 BTC = 100,000,000 Satoshis
1 mBTC = 100,000 Satoshis
1 μBTC (microbitcoin) = 100 Satoshis

What is a faucet?

A faucet is a site that allows people to earn bitcoin (BTC) virtual currency by completing simple tasks, such as viewing a webpage for a specified amount of time, viewing ad content, even solving CAPTCHAs. The payout from each faucet task is generally quite small, but over time as you accumulate bitcoin currency through multiple tasks, and as the value of the BTC increases relative to other currencies (which it is expected to do), the earnings from bitcoin faucets could be substantial. Because bitcoin currency is being released on a deflationary schedule, due to laws of supply and demand, it is expected to grow stronger over time compared to other currencies.