Bitcoin was set up in 2009 to form a new, decentralised electronic cash solution. It is the original digital currency, and although others have now followed suit, Bitcoin is still the best-known one out of them all.
Each Bitcoin is a computer file stored in a digital wallet app, and there will only ever be a maximum of 21 million of them with owners remaining anonymous.
The coins are ‘mined’ via powerful computers. When a Bitcoin is sent to someone, the network records the transaction, and others made as a block, within a certain period of time. These transactions become known as a blockchain; all transactions are easily accessible, which helps to prevent fraud.
More and more merchants are accepting Bitcoin, including digital currency exchanges such as CEX, Kraken, Coinmama and Coinbase.
There are no bank charges or government control over Bitcoin funds, and security behind it is strong.