Bitcoin is a network, a protocol, a groundbreaking technology and a culture in and of itself. But when it was first introduced by Satoshi Nakomoto in a 2008 white paper, Bitcoin was primarily designed as a way to revolutionize the buying, selling and transacting of value for the digital era.
“What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party,” Nakomoto wrote. “In this paper, we propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer distributed timestamp server to generate computational proof of the chronological order of transactions.”
The result was a new kind of financial asset called “bitcoin,” and a blockchain-based distributed ledger used to track it: a network called “Bitcoin.” Participation in this transparent and equitable revolution is easy; anyone in the world with an internet connection can buy, sell and transact BTC.
In the guide below, we cover the basics around utilizing bitcoin as a financial asset — the best ways to buy BTC, methods for selling BTC (not that you’ll necessarily ever want to), an explainer of BTC transactions and more. It should be noted, however, that bitcoin is still a relatively volatile asset and that it may not be an attractive option for many investors who are looking for a safe haven. This guide does not constitute investment advice, but is meant to offer basic information around how bitcoin functions