What is Bitcoin?
What is Bitcoin?
It would be easier to tell you it's "Magic Internet Money".
But it's not. No magic is involved. It was built with code and set off on it's own, January 3rd, 2009. This code follows strict mathematical rules in order to operate. It can't be manipulated. There will only ever be 21 million Bitcoin produced based on these hard and fast rules. Read more about that HERE.
The block chain is a shared public ledger on which the entire Bitcoin network relies. All confirmed transactions are included in the block chain. It allows Bitcoin wallets to calculate their spendable balance so that new transactions can be verified thereby ensuring they're actually owned by the spender. The integrity and the chronological order of the block chain are enforced with cryptography.
Basically? The ledger makes it transparent. You can actually see every Bitcoin transaction EVER. Bitcoins? They aren't really coins, they are long lines of individual code. Part of that code is on the chain, you have the other part in a Bitcoin wallet. These are your private keys. With both pieces, public and private? You have access to your Bitcoin. This provides the mathematical proof the chain needs to confirm it's yours, and you are spending it by sending it to a new wallet. If someone gets your keys, they can get your BTC. Think of it like cash. You wouldn't leave it laying around, you'd secure it. If someone steals your cash, it's gone. If someone has your private keys? They can take your Bitcoin.
Now, you know they are not really coins.
But let's pretend they are. It's easier to visualize than zillions of lines of numbers and code.
Each coin can be broken down into smaller pieces and these pieces are lovingly called Satoshis or sats, after the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto.
With the ability to break down each Bitcoin down to micro "pennies" (satoshis) it makes it easier to buy, sell or spend. Almost like having $1000 but not holding it in a $1000 dollar bill. Picture 1000- dollar bills, or 2000 .50 pieces. OR 4000 quarters or .25 coins.