Bitcoin (BTC) is the world’s first cryptocurrency built on distributed ledger (blockchain) technology, with a proof of work (PoW) mechanism that is not backed by any country’s central bank or government. It was founded by [Satoshi Nakamoto](https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/satoshi-nakamoto.asp), a pseudonym representing an individual or group of individuals, who published the white paper on October 31, 2008. It is currently the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, maintaining market dominance for the past decade.
A brief history of Bitcoin
Nakamoto created the first Bitcoin on January 3, 2009. Bitcoin was initially mined among tech enthusiasts until the first trading markets for Bitcoin emerged in July 2010, with prices then ranging from US$0.0008 and $0.08. By then, Nakamoto transferred Bitcoin’s network alert key and control of the code repository to Gavin Andresen, who became lead developer at the Bitcoin Foundation.
Since Nakamoto’s first Bitcoin block, thousands of developers have introduced improvements to Bitcoin’s code. And over the past decade, Bitcoin has risen in popularity as a digital asset class, with more people, companies, and even countries accepting its usage or maintaining Bitcoin funds in their balance sheets.
How Bitcoin works
Bitcoin introduced a type of currency (called [cryptocurrency](https://crypto.com/university/what-is-bitcoin)) that can be created and tracked on a public ledger (called [blockchain](https://crypto.com/university/what-is-blockchain-consensus?utm_source=crypto.com+price+page&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=bitcoin&utm_content=blockchain)), and which is not controlled by any central authority like a company or a country. Unlike with traditional currencies, everyone who can contribute the computational power needed to maintain this network will keep a record of every single [Bitcoin transaction](https://crypto.com/university/how-do-bitcoin-transactions-work?utm_source=crypto.com+price+page&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=bitcoin&utm_content=bitcoin+transaction). In return, these participants will be able to gain Bitcoin by mining, which is the process of validating transactions being added to the ledger by solving complex puzzles. This is called the proof of work (PoW) consensus algorithm.
Read more: [How Does Bitcoin Work? A Deep Dive into Technical Aspects of BTC](https://crypto.com/university/how-does-bitcoin-work?utm_source=crypto.com+price+page&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=bitcoin&utm_content=how+does+bitcoin+work%3F+a+deep+dive+into+the+technical+aspects+of+BTC)
What is Bitcoin used for?
Bitcoin is used as a digital currency for peer-to-peer electronic transactions and traded for goods or services with vendors who accept Bitcoins as payment. In fact, Bitcoin spearheaded the cryptocurrency market, an ever-growing collection of digital assets that can be sent and received by anyone anywhere in the world without reliance on intermediaries.