A Quick Bitcoin Primer

In honor of the workshop I’m giving today at the Youth Entrepreneurship Summit about bitcoin and because it’s important, here’s a quick intro to what bitcoin is.

Bitcoin is a decentralized, digital currency. 

  • Decentralized means there are no banks, governments or central parties involved. 
  • Digital means over the internet, not physical. 
  • Currency means it’s worth something and can be exchanged. 

It’s online, borderless cash. It can be transferred anywhere with an internet connection.

I watched a ton of explainer videos to make sure I use the best ones. Here’s what I found:

Vox explaining bitcoin as a payment network

The New York Times explaining bitcoin from the angle of what makes money money. Here’s another post about what makes bitcoin the best form of money we’ve ever seen.


A random video making it clear just how early we are in all of this. (only watch first 3 mins then it gets a little crazy) The internet used to be a foreign concept to most people. Then it completely changed society. Bitcoin and its underlying technology, blockchain have the same potential.

That’s the end of our quick primer! I’m sure so much of this is still fuzzy. It takes time to grasp how bitcoin works and a 200 word article and some brief videos certainly won’t be the only resource you need. If you have questions, send me an email at zcj at udel dot edu or ping me on twitter @zjonsee!