Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency first introduced on October 31 2008 with a computer science paper that described how it would work. A few months later, on January 3, 2009, the code was released and the first bitcoins appeared.
Bitcoin is often compared to gold in that there is a limited supply — the maximum number of bitcoins that will ever enter circulation is 21 million. Unlike gold, however, bitcoin is digital, making it far easier to divide, transfer, and store.
What are the different cryptocurrencies?
Bitcoin is the oldest and most well-known cryptocurrency, but there are hundreds of others. Some cryptocurrencies, like Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, share Bitcoin’s core characteristics but explore new ways to process transactions. Others offer a wider range of features. Ethereum, for example, can be used to run applications and create contracts.
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