A 2008 whitepaper written by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the concept of bitcoin, and the design principle behind bitcoin is: A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash [which] would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.
It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. Bitcoin was the first practical implementation and is currently the most prominent triple entry bookkeeping system in existence.
Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. No one controls it. Bitcoins aren’t printed, like dollars or euros – they’re produced by people, and increasingly businesses, running computers all around the world, using software that solves mathematical problems.