Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Can someone explain what exactly is Bitcoin?

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by hyperslug, random Jun 9 '11 at 17:49

Questions on Super User are expected to relate to computer software or computer hardware within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
If you plan to use it, I'd recommend you have a look at some of the latest articles on ars: arstechnica.com/search/#bitcoin –  Svish Jun 20 '11 at 15:44
    
add comment

4 Answers 4

Bitcoin is a digital currency created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. The name also refers both to the open source software he designed to make use of the currency and to the peer-to-peer network formed by running that software.

Unlike other digital currencies, Bitcoin avoids central authorities and issuers. Bitcoin uses a distributed database spread across nodes of a peer-to-peer network to journal transactions, and uses digital signatures and proof-of-work to provide basic security functions, such as ensuring that bitcoins can be spent only once per owner and only by the person who owns them.

Bitcoins can be saved on a personal computer in the form of a wallet file or kept with a third party wallet service, and in either case bitcoins can be sent over the Internet to anyone with a Bitcoin address. The peer-to-peer topology and lack of central administration are features that make it infeasible for any authority (governmental or otherwise) to manipulate the quantity of bitcoins in circulation, thereby mitigating inflation.

share|improve this answer
add comment

"Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency. Peer-to-peer means that no central authority issues new money or tracks transactions. These tasks are managed collectively by the network."

See more at http://www.bitcoin.org.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Bitcoin is a non-national, internet currency that can be used to make purchases across the web. Like other currencies, it has exchange rates to various national currencies. More on wikipedia

share|improve this answer
add comment

What is Bitcoin

First hit with Google.

share|improve this answer
    
Suggesting people google and linking articles is frowned upon, because soon google will take people here, and articles can be taken down or moved. –  Darth Android Jun 9 '11 at 17:23
1  
Linking to the actual organizationis frowned on? What do you suggest? The tool to insert the link is provided. –  Dave M Jun 9 '11 at 17:44
1  
Dave makes a valid point, his answer although short is correct, that site will tell you what bitcoin is... however maybe just leave a comment next time if you don't have anything extra to add? –  Kyle Jun 9 '11 at 17:53
3  
I would certainly link to the website, but I would also add enough content to briefly answer the question, such as Thiago M.'s answer. The best way to look at it is: If all the links/references to external websites fail or break, can your answer here still stand by itself? –  Darth Android Jun 9 '11 at 17:56
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.