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Bitcoin is a digital currency, also known as a cryptocurrency, which was invented in 2009 by an unknown person or group of people using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. It was created as an alternative to traditional fiat currencies and operates independently of any central bank or authority. Bitcoin is based on a peer-to-peer network and transactions are recorded on a public ledger, called a blockchain.

Bitcoin is often referred to as the first cryptocurrency, though prior systems existed. It made significant progress towards decentralizing money and has since gained immense popularity. Bitcoin has seen tremendous growth since its inception and has become the most popular and valuable digital currency in the world. It has also been adopted by many large companies as a payment method and is increasingly accepted by merchants and other organizations. The Bitcoin network is secure, decentralized, and open source, allowing anyone to send and receive payments without relying on third-party services.