Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital currency developed by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.
Satoshi Nakamoto is not a real person. The name is a pseudonym that refers to the person or the group that created the Bitcoin protocol. The name is Japanese but many doubt that he is actually Japansese. There have been many speculation about who is behind, but all the candidates have denied it.
Unlike most other currencies, bitcoin does not depend on any central authority governing its usage and and is run online via a peer-to-peer system.
The benefits of Bitcoin are, among other things, that the transactions take place much faster than usual bank transfer, and there are few or no costs associated with the use.
The purpose of Bitcoin is to be able to transfer payments directly from person to person without the payment going through an intermediary. This leads to faster transactions, partial anonymity and lower transaction costs.
In addition to transactions, mining also creates new Bitcoins. Users can use their computers to solve difficult mathematical algorithms to help verify the creation of new Bitcoins and Bitcoins transfer between users. A log keeps track of all transactions. To limit the creation of Bitcoin, it is set a limit of total number of Bitcoins that can ever be given. This limit is set to 21 million.
To get started with Bitcoin, you first need a wallet. You can choose to create your wallet on your own PC / MAC, or at a service that offers this.
Then you can go to the acquisition of Bitcoins. Coinbase.com is a marketplace where you can safely buy and sell Bitcoins with other users. Here you can make bank transfer or VISA deposits, and send Bitcoins easily to your wallet.
Remember that a good rule is never to invest more than you can afford to lose. There is no doubt investing in Bitcoins is high risk. You risk losing everything, but in return, the return can also be very high.