Bitcoin is a technology that functions as a digital currency. As a digital currency, Bitcoin facilitates the transfer of wealth directly person to person without the need for any third parties involved. Bitcoin cannot replace traditional banking and financial services. However, in some respects Bitcoin is more efficient than traditional banking, allowing for transactions to be sent instantly at a significantly lower cost, even for free in some cases. This efficiency can bring a world of banking and financial services to billions of unbanked people around the world, currently ignored by traditional banking simply because those unbanked people cannot be serviced profitably. Bitcoin is opening the doors to a better economic future for these billions of people.
Bitcoin is able to accomplish this because it is, in essence, simply a ledger of data distributed across a decentralized network. When we think of Bitcoin as a currency, the data stored in that ledger is money. This is currently the most commonly used application of Bitcoin. The Bitcoin distributed ledger can however be used for storing other data as well. The technology can be used in other non-monetary applications. Over time we will discover more applications for the Bitcoin distributed ledger, bringing us the opportunity to create more fair and transparent societies, enabling greater social and economic prosperity for all.