Until recently, very few people had heard of Bitcoin, but it is well on the way to becoming mainstream. Bitcoin was invented in 2009. The idea was to create a mathematical payment system where payments could be transferred electronically, instantly, with virtually no transaction fees. Unlike pounds and pence, Bitcoin is not a “real” currency. Rather, it’s a cryptocurrency, or virtual currency.
Bitcoin are produced by computer algorithms, a process known as Bitcoin mining. A computer on a network solves a mathematical problem. For every problem the computer solves, a block of bitcoins is generated. Bitcoin miners earn bitcoins, which are stored in an electronic wallet. This is completely anonymous, so you are protected when making a Bitcoin transaction online.
Very few mainstream businesses accept Bitcoin, but this could change in the future. However, if you have some Bitcoin in your virtual wallet, you can use it to pay for a trip on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space venture.