Introduction

Bitcoin is not a new concept; the idea of using a digital currency to pay for goods and services has been around since the early 1990s but bitcoin is the first ‘crypto-currency’ to show a degree of success. Bitcoin, like a dollar bill or pound sterling, has no inherent value – its value is built upon its acceptance as a payment for goods and services. And unlike traditional currency, bitcoin has no central bank and no government that controls its supply; the creation and transfer of bitcoin is designed entirely around cryptography.

Bitcoin technology

The social and economic impact of bitcoin is far-reaching, and the technology behind it is very complex. You can read more about these subjects at the following links:

Bitcoin features

Economic rules

While bitcoin has no monetary authority, there are some rules in place that aim to help stablise the currency.

Bitcoin mining

The availability of bitcoin is limited by ‘mining’; a process that uses a large amount of processing power to ‘solve’ a block-chain. As more bitcoins are mined, the difficulty of successfully mining a bitcoin becomes harder until there are zero bitcoins left to mine. The high processing power required to mine a bitcoin has a small cost attached to it that guarantees the value of a bitcoin so long as there is demand for it.

Read our FAQ for an explanation of bitcoin poker »