Bitcoin is an open source P2P money which is not regulated by any Central bank. This currency make use of the cryptography for its creation and management and this concept was first described by Wei Dai on cypherpunks mailing list in 1998. Based on it , Satoshi Nakamoto provided the specificaiton and Proof of Concept in 2009 and after he left in late 2010, Many developers took over and worked on the source code for enhancing it. The Source Code is freely available and developers can contribute to enhance Bitcoin. Couple of main advantages of Bitcoin are:-
1) Zero or low processing fee: Any merchant accepting the Credit Card or Debit Card has to bear a 2-3% transaction fees for every transaction. But using Bitcoin the transaction fees will be near zero as it will be fixed amount per transaction irrespective of transaction value.
2) Safety against Fraud: Bitcoin provides very high level of security and that is one reason why it gained popularity initially.It is currently considered impossible to counterfeit Bitcoin.
On the flip side the fluctuation in the value of the Bitcoin is quite high and after the recent rise in its price many people are calling it to be next bubble and which might result in it becoming worthless.
US federal authorities have shown the wilingness to accept it as a legitimate payment alternative and at the same time raised the concern of this currency being susceptible to money laundering and illegal activity.After this comment from authorities the price of the Bitcoin jumped from $550 to $900 overnight and is currently at $700. Its value one year back was around $12.