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What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a new kind of money that can be sent from one person to another without the need for a trusted third party such as a bank or other financial institution; it is the first global, decentralized currency.
What is Bitcoin, the technology?
Bitcoin was originally released in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto as a piece of software and a paper describing how it works. Because Bitcoin is fundamentally software, anybody can run it on their computer, and therefore participate in a global economy.
One of the most important elements of Bitcoin is the blockchain, which tracks who owns what, similar to how a bank tracks assets. What sets the Bitcoin blockchain apart from a bank’s ledger is that it is distributed, meaning anyone can view it. Since Bitcoin is open, no company, country, or third party is in control of it, and anyone can participate.