Bitcoins (“BTC”) and Bitcoin Mining Explained in Plain English

There has been a lot in the news lately about Bitcoins (known in the trade as “BTC”) and Bitcoin Mining, but to the average person it’s still very confusing. What are Bitcoins? How does Bitcoin Mining work? What is the Silk Road, which is often mentioned in the same breath as Bitcoins? And why is Congress holding hearings on Bitcoins? Here are the plain English explanations for all of these.