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What is Bitcoin?

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Just Explain It Fast — Like I’m a Five Year Old

Bitcoin is a payment system, which is so revolutionary it gives Bitcoin its value. Imagine an Excel spreadsheet with a list of account balances. This account owns this much, that account owns that much, etc. To send money, the balances just get subtracted from and added to. That’s it.

Now imagine this Excel file is duplicated and synced across the world with a peer-to-peer system like BitTorrent. That’s the essence of Bitcoin. [1]

But Why Is Bitcoin a Big Deal?

Because nothing like Bitcoin has ever existed before and it may have a profound effect on personal financial freedom and global commerce. Here’s some of the most important things about Bitcoin that make it a game-changing technology:

  • Bitcoin is internet money that can be transferred nearly instantly to anywhere in the world.

  • It is not managed or controlled by any company, bank, or government.

  • The Bitcoin system is a public network of people’s computers running Bitcoin software.

  • Bitcoins are numeric amounts tracked on a public ledger. Bitcoins cannot be arbitrarily created and the total amount is limited to 21 million.

  • The Bitcoin software is free and open source. Its usage has accelerated globally since being released in 2009.

  • Bitcoin solves the problem of getting computers, that may not trust each other, to securely track transactions and agree on updates to a public ledger.

  • It’s changing the way people think about money because it eliminates the need of a centralized middleman to manage the money supply and facilitate transactions.

Bitcoin is a gonna change the world. But there’s a lot of complications to it — hell, even most computer geeks don’t understand what Bitcoin is or how it works.

So I made this here website. It’s just a humble attempt, by a common hillbilly, to explain the basics of Bitcoin… without making folks go cross-eyed.

Brother Bitcoin, June 2014

What You Oughta Know About Bitcoin

The articles below will get you started with the fundamental basics of Bitcoin. Dig in and enjoy!

Additional Reading and References


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