By now you may have heard of this thing called Bitcoin, but what exactly is it? Well, in a nutshell, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and a digital payment system released in 2009. As far as we know, Bitcoin was invented by an unknown programmer, or a group of programmers, under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. [source: wikipedia]
So what does it do? The system allows financial transactions to take place directly between users without any centralized banks acting as middle-men. The underlying technology and process that makes this possible is called the ‘Blockchain‘. Note: While blockchain plays a major role in the cryptocurrency revolution it’s a topic that deserves its own blog post–I digress.
Since Bitcoin was released, there’s been a significant amount of variants that’s been created to compete in the cryptocurrency-space. So far there’s 900 Bitcoin alternatives world-wide as of July 2017. The main ones in addition to Bitcoin are: 1. Litecoin. 2. Ethereum 3. zCash.
Many in the finance, technology, and economics industry as well as the government sector is split on whether or not Bitcoin will become a widely used digital currency which rivals that of traditional bank tender / currency. Regardless of their constant debates it’s clear Bitcoin and several of the alternative cryptocurrencies are gaining adoption world-wide. Watch Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Chamath Palihapitiya interview on the topic below.