It appeared in 2009 as a currency unit just after the global meltdown. The first Bitcoin ATM opened in Vancouver in Canada in October 2013
PRODUCTION: Bitcoins are “mined” based on a pre-defined mathematical algorithm and is a reward for carrying out computational operations that aim at discovering the solution to a random mathematical puzzle. There is no central bank or monetary authority that controls its production
USAGE: To use Bitcoin, one needs to download the software from Bitcoin.org. The software acts as a bank account. It stores a secret code on the user’s computer which enables funds to be spent from one’s bank account or ‘wallet’
BENEFIT: Bitcoins have absolutely no counter-party risk to hold and transfer. The only risk is of bitcoins being lost if your computer crashes. It is possible to back up the wallet file on a USB drive and even email it.