Bit·​coin ˈbit-ˌkȯin How to pronounce Bitcoin (audio)
variants or less commonly bitcoin
: a digital currency created for use in peer-to-peer online transactions
Introduced in 2008 by a person or group using the name Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin is the most prominent of a group of virtual currencies—money that exists mainly as computer code—that have no central issuing authority.Carter Dougherty
Bitcoin … is backed by no government and has a fluctuating value linked in part to a scarcity that is mathematically predetermined.Glenn Zorpette
The venture capital industry is beginning to take a good, hard look at a new financial instrument coming out of the bitcoin community—Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs.Richard Kastelein
also, usually bitcoin : a unit of this currency
Commercial space venture Virgin Galactic—which announced on Nov. 22 that it would start accepting bitcoins to reserve a refundable $250,000 seat on a future trip—is just the latest of many businesses that have recently embraced the decentralized virtual payment system. (At press time, 1 bitcoin was worth roughly $879.) Time

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But the conversation ignited Mr. Levin’s fascination with Bitcoin. David Yaffe-bellany, New York Times, 22 Apr. 2023 The proof of impact has already been shown — 60% of sports fans have purchased NFTs and Bitcoin. Michael Schreiber, Rolling Stone, 21 Apr. 2023 As opposed to Bitcoin’s proof of work, which requires a large amount of electricity to verify transactions, blockchains like Ethereum require those who’d like to secure the network—the validators—to put in escrow a certain amount of Ether, Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency. Ben Weiss, Fortune Crypto, 20 Apr. 2023 Also on the move: Bitcoin, which is climbing above $30,000 and hitting its highest level in 10 months. Mark your calendars: The Journal's Gunjan Banerji is hosting a Live Q&A on Thursday on the bull and bear cases for Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation ETF. WSJ, 11 Apr. 2023 The dual offerings of BitLicenses and trust charters allowed crypto companies to conduct business in New York, from issuing stablecoins to holding virtual currencies like Bitcoin and Ether for customers. Leo Schwartz, Fortune, 4 Apr. 2023 The currency, which was founded in 2013 as a spoof of other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, saw its value rise by more than 20 percent after Monday’s Twitter tweak, per Variety. Louisa Ballhaus, Robb Report, 4 Apr. 2023 Rather, buying a derivative—something that is possible for any commodity—allows an investor to place a leveraged bet on whether the price of a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin will rise or fall. Diego Lasarte, Quartz, 27 Mar. 2023 The desk struck a relationship with Poloniex, its Boston neighbor, after Poloniex became one of the earliest exchanges to list Ether, the native coin of Ethereum, the biggest cryptocurrency network next to Bitcoin. Robert Hackett, Fortune, 26 Feb. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Bitcoin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

2008, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Bitcoin was in 2008

Dictionary Entries Near Bitcoin

Cite this Entry

“Bitcoin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

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