Bitcoin (BTC) is a decentralized digital currency created by an unknown person or group using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The Bitcoin whitepaper was released on October 31, 2008 and the network began operating with the genesis block on January 3, 2009.
Bitcoin uses cryptographic signatures to verify the ownership of coins and an algorithm called Proof-of-Work (PoW) to enforce consensus rules across all nodes and to protect the network against attacks.
It has a finite supply of 21 million coins, making it a scarce digital asset often compared to gold. Bitcoin has gained popularity for its potential as a store of value, a means of exchange, and a hedge against inflation.
The term Bitcoin also denotes the Bitcoin network and the amount of 100,000,000 of its smallest divisible unit called satoshis, or sats.