Its pseudonymous creator (or, more likely, creators) “Satoshi Nakamoto” willed it into existence in 2009, not only describing how the so-called cryptocurrency would work but shipping a full working implementation. The original software had all the hallmarks of a gag or hack: a great, metastasizing practical joke played by clever cyberlibertarian coders upon all who put their faith in fiat (that is, government-backed) currencies.
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Bitcoin, a purely digital currency, is backed by no commodity and governed by no central bank, but it exists because a small number of humans have chosen to believe in its legitimacy.
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