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Bitcoin is a strange beast. It’s newsworthy enough for the mainstream public to be aware of it but confusing enough that those same people only have a vague sense of what it is and how it works. But worry not, as we’re from the Internet and we’re here to help.

A Brief Introduction

The ignorance surrounding Bitcoin isn’t surprising, as cryptocurrencies are very different from the forms of payment most of us are used to on a daily basis. From their creation through mining to the way they’re sent and stored, the whole business of Bitcoin leaves most people with a blank look on their face.

Luckily the Internet is here to save us all from ignorance. The following resources all seek to explain what Bitcoin is and how cryptocurrencies operate. And if you get to the end of this article still none the wiser, don’t stress, as you’re still in the majority.

MakeUseOf Cryptocurrencies

MakeUseOf has covered Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies quite often over the years, especially once they hit the mainstream in 2013.

You should start by reading our Bitcoin Guide, before moving onto our explanation of what you can buy with Bitcoin What Can I Buy With Bitcoin? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Can I Buy With Bitcoin? [MakeUseOf Explains] If you’ve never heard of Bitcoin before, then don’t worry because you’re in the majority. Let’s just say that it’s a virtual currency (meaning you’ll never be able to hold an actual Bitcoin in your... Read More . There’s a lengthy feature looking at the future of Bitcoin Currency Of The Revolution, Or Tool For Online Vendors? The Many Faces Of Bitcoin [Feature] Currency Of The Revolution, Or Tool For Online Vendors? The Many Faces Of Bitcoin [Feature] It's become an annual event: the fall of Bitcoin. You've probably read about it multiple times, and maybe even believe that the online, decentralized currency is already gone forever. It isn't. Created by a mysterious,... Read More , an overview of how you can mine Bitcoin for yourself 5 Ways You Can Make And Mine Bitcoin Currency 5 Ways You Can Make And Mine Bitcoin Currency The revolutionary and controversial method of payment has been making headlines. There are plenty of reasons why you might want to start performing transactions using Bitcoins. But first, you have to earn some for yourself. Read More , and a list of the disadvantages to Bitcoin mining What Disadvantages Are There To Bitcoin Mining? What Disadvantages Are There To Bitcoin Mining? Several times since the beginning of this decade, Bitcoins have been slowly but surely been causing a (good) disturbance in the way people think about currency. If you don't know yet what Bitcoins are, then... Read More .

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There’s a piece about mining Litecoin A Full Guide To Getting Started With Mining Litecoin A Full Guide To Getting Started With Mining Litecoin Read More designed for those who missed out on the Bitcoin goldrush, and an exploration of three alternative cryptocurrencies Better Than Bitcoin? 3 Crypto-Currencies That Aren't Just Copycats Better Than Bitcoin? 3 Crypto-Currencies That Aren't Just Copycats Not all crypto-currencies are equal though: here are 3 that I believe will have a future. Read More . Another six alternative cryptocurrencies 6 Alternative Cryptocurrencies Compared Against Bitcoin 6 Alternative Cryptocurrencies Compared Against Bitcoin Thinking of mining a cryptocurrency like Litecoin or Bitcoin? It's not too late. Read More are then compared to Bitcoin, before we disclose Android apps designed to help you track the markets Stay Up-to-date On Your CryptoCurrency With These Android Apps Stay Up-to-date On Your CryptoCurrency With These Android Apps Keeping track of virtual currency change and day trading can both be fun, and a way to increase your profits after a good day's mining. Read More .

Bitcoin Webcomics

Moving away from MakeUseOf and we find that Webcomics have had a field day explaining, exploring, and mocking Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

There was a whole comic dedicated to Bitcoin, simply called Bitcoin Comic. It’s no longer being updated, but the archives are more than worth exploring. This one explains just how engrossed in Bitcoin mining some people have become, while this one delves into the murky underbelly of drug deals made using Bitcoin.

The Joy Of Tech has touched on Bitcoin a couple of times, explaining how it differs from traditional trading, and using analogies like a boss.

Brainless Tales explains Bitcoin with a simple visual, while HijiNKS ENSUE struggles to get its head around the concept of cryptocurrency, and I Can Barely Draw decides the people who use real cash are the crazy ones.

Explain Bitcoin Like I’m Five

You probably couldn’t explain Bitcoin to a real five-year-old, but explaining Bitcoin to an adult as if they were five does work rather well. There’s a subreddit on Reddit titled ELI5, and a search for Bitcoin throws up a number of informative discussions.

And then there is this post on Medium written by Nik Custodio, which offers an in-depth explanation of what Bitcoin is and how it operates, but using language we can all understand.

Bitcoin Infographics

Infographics are a great way of explaining things in a visual, non-brain-hurty way. There are likely a whole host of infographics referencing Bitcoin out there on the Internetz, but we have just three to share with you.

Daily Reckoning has ‘The Full History of Bitcoin‘, Online Accounting Degrees has ‘Bitcoin 101‘, and Who Is Hosting This has ‘How to Explain Bitcoin to your Grandparents‘. All of which are both informative and entertaining.

Bitcoin Quotes

We close with a collection of Bitcoin quotes all 140 characters or less. These can therefore be liberally posted to Twitter to show you understand what Bitcoin is all about. Even if you’re just faking it. As everybody else but the small minority who actually mine cryptocurrencies are doing. Truth.

Image Credit: Zach Copley via Flickr

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