Bitcoin is a decentralized and distributed digital currency that operates on the bitcoin network (blockchain) and is a revolutionary technology. Since its inception in 2009, it made room for other crypto currencies to also start being developed (also known as alt coins or alternative coins). Alt coins are all crypto currencies that are not Bitcoin.
You can read the 9 page white paper here. While it does get technical, it's still worth your time to start on your crypto currency journey.
Bitcoin is an open source technology, meaning its source code is open to the public. If you're technical and want to view the code, you can do so here. If you're not a software engineer, you can rest assured that some of the greatest minds have worked on this project since 2009.
Just because the code is open source, doesn't mean anyone can modify it or attack the network. While we can read the code freely, the only engineers that can make changes are the ones that are part of the Bitcoin core community. You can find more information about the Bitcoin core team here.
Among giving back people control of their money by being decentralized, Bitcoin solves many problems. It's next to impossible for Bitcoin to be hacked or for a counterfeit Bitcoin to exist (can't say the same thing for the dollar!).
While a 51% is technically possible, the amount of resources, money and time it would take make it an extremely unlikely scenario. If you ever read about an exchange or a user's account being hacked, that's not the same thing as Bitcoin being hacked, which has never happened.
You can find out more about Bitcoin here.
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