The digital asset known as bitcoin, commonly defined as a virtual, digital, or crypto-currency has grown in popularity since its release as open source software in 2009.
Bitcoins can be created by anyone through the activity known as bitcoin mining, this is where users offer their own compute power to verify and record payments that are being processed into the distributed ledger.
By participating in this process there is a reward, bitcoin mining.
Basically, people are sending bitcoins to each other over the bitcoin network and it is necessary for a record of these transactions to be kept. To create a record the bitcoin network collects all transactions made during a set period into a list, called a block.
The miner then serves the purpose of confirming these transactions and writes them into a general ledger.
This general ledger is a long list of blocks, known as the blockchain and it can be used to explore any transaction made between bitcoin addresses, at any point on the network.