Bitcoin

Nickname
BTC
Plural Name
Bitcoins
Parent Asset Class

A decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator, Bitcoin was released as an open-source software created as a reward for a process known as mining. Bitcoin offers the promise of lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms and is operated by a decentralized authority, unlike government-issued currencies. As the earliest cryptocurrency to meet widespread popularity and success, Bitcoin has inspired a host of other projects in the blockchain space. Bitcoin charts high on popularity, and has triggered the launch of hundreds of other virtual currencies collectively referred to as Altcoins.

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Make sure to read about Crypto Currencies in general:

Bitcoin Facts (2018)
  • Bitcoin is still only owned by a small  fraction of the world's population (< 1%)
  • Bitcoin became popular in Venezuela and Turkey when their currencies' collapsed in 2017 and 2018

Bitcoin Criticisms
NOTE:  These are legitimate criticisms.  Newer cryptocurrencies have solved many of these
  • Bitcoin mining uses up a great deal of electrical energy - resulting in waste and pollution (not sustainable)
  • It can't handle many transactions and is generally slow (not scalable)
  • Has high transaction costs
  • Still lacks general acceptance
  • Serves as a tool for criminals, tax evaders and the like

Scarcity is baked into the system; there will be a maximum of 21 Million Bitcoins by 2140.

Every 4 years, the number of new bitcoins mined every goes down by half.