Bitcoin is cryptocurrency. It’s universally accepted and is meant to be used to settle online or real-world transactions. Bitcoin didn’t come into being until January 3, 2009, when “Satoshi Nakamoto,” who wrote the original paper proposing the creation of peer-to-peer electronic cash, was listed as the miner for the first Bitcoin.
Bitcoin’s integrity is built on the premise that every one of its transactions is open to the entire network (aka “nodes”) and that information on all current transactions is collected every 10 minutes by miners, verified by solving a crytograph, and added to a chain of verified electronic signatures known as the blockchain, per New Scientist magazine. The publication also says Bitcoin is safe because it uses cryptography designed by the U.S. National Security Agency, which makes it almost impossible to hack into. This means that anytime reports surface of cryptocurrencies being stolen by hackers, what it likely means is that the websites that host Bitcoin were hacked into, rather than any hackers breaking into the Bitcoin network itself.
There are a number of ways to get Bitcoin — one of them is to buy the crypto at a currency exchange in exchange for real money. You can also to pick up Bitcoin from apps like Robinhood, or through real-life brokers. You can even “mine” Bitcoin by guessing and solving cryptographical puzzles using powerful computers. As of now, there can be only 21 million Bitcoins in existence, only half of which have been mined, which has driven its price up.