Introduction to Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies are electronic peer-to-peer currencies. They don’t physically exist. You can’t pick up a bitcoin and hold it in your hand, or pull one out of your wallet. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency of its kind and was created by Satoshi Nakamoto to be an electronic and decentralised peer-to-peer cash system. Satoshi Nakamoto published the concept of Bitcoin in 2008 in the white paper called Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, describing the functionality of the Bitcoin blockchain network. Four month later (January 2009), Satoshi Nakamoto, whose true identity remains a mystery to this day, mined the first block of the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin offers the promise of lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms do, and unlike (centralised) government-issued currencies, it is operated by a decentralised authority. The first recorded purchase with Bitcoin was made when Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 BTC. This day is still celebrated every year as the Bitcoin Pizza Day.