Bitcoin is a completely decentralized digital cryptocurrency. Unlike US dollars that you can hold in your hand (or in your bank account), there is no central authority or centralized payment system controlling Bitcoin. Instead, Bitcoin operates in a peer-to-peer network that allows anyone in the world to send and receive Bitcoin without any middleman (like a bank, central bank or payment processor).
Although there are thousands of cryptocurrencies ranked on CMC today, Bitcoin was the very first cryptocurrency ever created. On Oct. 31, 2008 a person (or group of people) under the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto” published the now-world famous Bitcoin white paper.
The first line reads: “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash, which would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”
The Bitcoin network then launched on Jan. 3, 2009, marking the start of the cryptocurrency revolution.