What does a Bitcoin look like?

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Are there actual Bitcoin coins? as in… are there physical Bitcoins I can buy and hold in my hand?

The short answer is No.  Yes, there are coins that represent Bitcoins and in the past, these coins have had a real tangible amount of bitcoin encrypted onto them which I will explain as we delve deeper.  So when people ask me what a Bitcoin looks like, I explain to them that it looks like multiple things all of which look nothing like a coin at all. 

Bitcoin looks like:

  1. Bitcoin looks like the lines and lines of code it uses to operate
  2. Bitcoin looks like encryption
  3. Bitcoin looks like cryptography
  4. Bitcoin looks like automated functioning parameters
  5. Bitcoin looks like maths and equations being transformed at a rapid pace and much more

 


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Bitcoin to me is like electricity.  It is there but you can’t see it.  It is fluid and can be digitally transferred from wallet address to wallet address.  It can be calculated and proven to exist but it cannot be physically touched or seen.  Now at the start, I mentioned some coins can be stamped as Bitcoins and represent what people think of as a physical Bitcoin. 

Although these exist they are simply coins with an encrypted Bitcoin address stamped onto them.  The actual Bitcoin has been transferred to that address to give it the value stamped on it.  This is purely for show as it’s the Bitcoin address stamped onto the coin that holds the Bitcoin value, not the Bitcoin itself.  There are some coins with no addresses on them and are simply for show, so beware!  You can hold Bitcoin in a paper wallet, desktop wallet, mobile wallet, hardware wallet or exchange wallet.  All of which have their pros and cons.

In summary, Bitcoin is a virtual currency, not a physical coin.  It is stored in a bitcoin address which is embedded into a digital wallet.  This wallet has a public key for receiving transactions and a private key for sending Bitcoin to other wallets.