As a peer-to-peer electronic form of cash, bitcoin was designed to fulfil the functions of money. Upon its creation, the digital asset was paired to a system of enforceable and public rules which enabled certain fixed monetary properties. These properties – such as absolute scarcity, peer-to-peer electronic transferability, and censorship resistance – are independently verifiable, because each network participant has their own copy of the system’s rules.
As these properties are practically unchangeable, bitcoin’s early functions as money have mostly happened as a result of these properties. Through its ability to resist censorship, bitcoin has generated high levels of use in countries where authoritarian regimes limit political, financial and monetary freedom. Through its ability to reliably limit supply, bitcoin has seen increasing use in countries experiencing high levels of inflation, and in countries where people worry about future inflation. And through its ability to easily facilitate and finalise cross-border transfers, bitcoin has become a widespread tool for remittances and those conducting smaller-scale international payments.