Bitcoin is a virtual currency, or cryptocurrency, that’s decree vs bitcoin exchange by a decentralized network of users and isn’t directly subject to the whims of central banking authorities or national governments. Like traditional currencies, such as the U. Bitcoin has value relative to other currencies and physical goods. Whole Bitcoin units can be subdivided into decimals representing smaller units of value.
Currently, the smallest Bitcoin unit is the satoshi, or 0. The satoshi can’t be broken into smaller units. Bitcoin is the most versatile cryptocurrency. It can be exchanged with other private users as consideration for services performed or to settle outstanding debts. It can be swapped for other currencies, both traditional and virtual, on electronic exchanges that function similar to forex exchanges.
For all its promise, Bitcoin remains a niche currency that’s subject to wild value fluctuations. Despite the wild-eyed pronouncements of hardcore proponents, it’s certainly not a legitimate investment or trading vehicle, as is the case with stable national currencies, such as the U. How Bitcoin Works Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, meaning it’s supported by a source code that uses highly complex algorithms to prevent unauthorized duplication or creation of Bitcoin units. The code’s underlying principles, known as cryptography, are based on advanced mathematical and computer engineering principles.