Bitcoin is a digital payment currency that utilizes cryptocurrency (a digital medium of exchange) and peer-to-peer (P2P) technology to create and manage monetary transactions as opposed to a central authority. The open source Bitcoin P2P network creates the bitcoins and manages all the bitcoin transactions. Often referred to as “cash for the Internet,” Bitcoin is one of several popular digital payment currencies along with Litecoin, Peercoin and Namecoin. When the word Bitcoin is capitalized, it usually refers to the software and systems used for bitcoin (in lowercase it means the actual currency). Bitcoin History Bitcoin is considered the biggest cryptocurrency. It was first introduced in 2009 and is the most widely-traded cryptocurrency. Bitcoin as an implementation of the cryptocurrency concept was described by Wei Dai in 1998 on the cypherpunks mailing list. Dai suggested a new form of money that uses cryptography to control its creation and transactions, rather than a central authority. In 2009, the Bitcoin specification and proof of concept was published in a cryptography mailing list by Satoshi Nakamoto. As noted in the Official Bitcoin FAQ, Satoshi Nakamoto left the project in late 2010 without revealing much about himself. How Bitcoin Works Payments are made via a Bitcoin wallet application that resides on a user’s computer or mobile device, and a person only needs to enter the recipient’s Bitcoin address information and payment amount before pressing send to comple.