Bitcoin was developed in 2009 by an anonymous in- dividual under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The idea was to create a digital currency that could be used to purchase items online without intermediaries, like banks, and without government control.

Bitcoin is different from fiat currencies in a number of ways. It cannot be duplicated or forged because of the ledger and its distributed nature. It has no central authority, unlike hard currencies like the US dollar, which are managed by a central bank. The quantity of bitcoins is limited to 21 million, with new coins being continuously mined. It is expected that the last bitcoin will be mined in approximately the year 2140.