Bitcoin is the best known and most traded digital currency with extensive utilization around the world. While not the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is often regarded as the first decentralized cryptocurrency. It is normally the first entry point and primary exit point for users wanting to exchange with Fiat currency (EUR, USD, GBP, etc..). This has led Bitcoin to achieve a market cap high of more than $336 Billion and 24 hour volume high of more than $23 Billion. The lack of an easy to achieve consensus mechanism in the network has limited Bitcoin’s ability to adapt and implement scaling and growth solutions. Because of this there have been many other currencies which are essentially copies or very similar to the Bitcoin protocol, but with scaling, consensus, or other features added to their protocol.
Most widely known and traded Crypto Currency
Much faster international payments than with banks
Allows for a basic level of anonymity
Permission less system allows anyone private key to send funds
Decentralized structure that is not connected with any government
Bitcoin is built on a distributed ledger that is shared and stored in a peer-to-peer manner. The Balances are shared on a public ledger but the control of the balances is maintained by the holder of a private key. The transactions are processed through processing power provided by voluntary "miners" who in return for processing transactions are rewarded with Bitcoin according to a set algorithm.