Bitcoin is essentially a computer file which is stored in a digital wallet application on your phone or computer. People can send and receive bitcoin to and from their digital wallet. Every transaction is recorded in a public list which is know as the block chain.
In the same way that Pigs Tusk and shells were used as kastom mani in the past in Vanuatu, bitcoin operates without being attached to any one specific country or bank. However, unlike Pigs Tusk and shells, a bitcoin can be broken down into fractions of a single unit. For example you do not have to buy or sell one bitcoin. You can buy or sell fractions of a bitcoin, i.e. common trades for bitcoin are normally for much smaller amount, for example 0.015 of a bitcoin.
Bitcoin was first released in 2009 and was famously first used in a transaction to purchase two pizza’s in 2010. Since then Bitcoin’s popularity has exploded worldwide, with the price per bitcoin rising to a peak of 1.5 million vatu per bitcoin in 2017 before settling back to 750 thousand vatu by mid 2018.
Bitcoin’s initial appeal to people was that it created a form of payment that was independent from any central authority, however whilst this is still a core reason people continue to use it, other reasons why people use Bitcoin can be see in more detail in our Why Buy Bitcoin page.
For people new to bitcoin, we really like the below video’s which explain what Bitcoin is and how it works in an easy to understand way.