What Does Bitcoin Solve?
Centralization: Bitcoin alleviates the need for a centralized third-party system — like a credit card company or a central bank — to confirm and validate transactions. Rather than requiring the current base-layer financial system to broker our transfers and settlements, Bitcoin works purely peer-to-peer, ridding the need for trust in a centralized government controller.
Verifiability: Bitcoin enables unit-level currency validation that isn't possible with fiat (government-backed money). For instance, there are plenty of fake dollar bills in circulation (the U.S. Treasury estimates that one in every 10,000 bills is counterfeit) that the average person fails to discover. However, nobody can create fake bitcoin because the Bitcoin network is secured cryptographically via a public blockchain that anybody can access and validate any amount of bitcoin as real.
Inflation: Bitcoin's supply is capped at 21 million. There will never be any more bitcoin than that. No one can just "print more bitcoin" like we currently print dollars, inflating the money supply. Unlike fiat currencies, bitcoin doesn't take away your purchasing power over time.
"I don't understand anything you just said"
Don't worry, if concepts like "blockchain" and "decentralization" might sound confusing right now, but I'll be explaining everything in detail over the next 21 days. The truth is, we don’t need to dive too deeply into exactly how the technical aspects of Bitcoin function. However, you’re right to be skeptical if I just tell you to trust that it works. After all, bitcoin is all about getting rid of the need for trust.
"But...how can it be that I don't need to trust anyone? How do I know that Bitcoin isn't a scam? Will bitcoin make me rich? What is bitcoin's intrinsic value? There must be someone managing Bitcoin, right?"
These are all valid questions that will soon be answered in a way that, hopefully, anyone can understand. For this introductory lecture, we’ll briefly cover the skeleton of how bitcoin operates. Over the next three weeks, you’ll learn everything from how to make your first bitcoin transaction to how bitcoin is already bringing global financial freedom to millions around the world.