What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the first decentralized cryptocurrency and the first application of blockchain technology

sumit
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Senior ETF Analyst
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Reviewed by: Sumit Roy
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Edited by: Sumit Roy

ETF.com Insight and Analysis
In the words of its pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin is “peer-to-peer electronic cash.” Created in 2008, bitcoin is the first decentralized cryptocurrency and the first application of blockchain technology—the distributed ledger that underpins the Bitcoin system, also invented by Nakamoto.

Using a combination of cryptography, game theory and peer-to-peer networks, the Bitcoin system enables the transfer of value over the internet without an intermediary—a revolutionary innovation. Bitcoin, the system made up of users and transaction verifiers, allows anyone with an internet connection to transfer a form of digital cash (also called bitcoin) to others.

The transactions are broadcast over the Bitcoin network and verified by anyone who wants to participate in the process. Miners, a special type of network participant, also verify transactions and group them into blocks, which are cryptographically linked to previous blocks of transactions (hence “blockchain”).

Sumit Roy is the senior ETF analyst for etf.com, where he has worked for 13 years. He creates a variety of content for the platform, including news articles, analysis pieces, videos and podcasts.

Before joining etf.com, Sumit was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. In those roles, he was responsible for most of the operations of HAI, a website dedicated to education about commodities investing.

Though he still closely follows the commodities beat, Sumit covers a much broader assortment of topics for etf.com, with a particular focus on stock and bond exchange-traded funds.

He is the host of etf.com’s Talk ETFs, a popular video series that features weekly interviews with thought leaders in the ETF industry. Sumit is also co-host of Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s weekly podcast series.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing chess and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe.