Bitcoin and Altcoins like Ethereum and Ripple etc. are collectively termed as Digital Currencies or Virtual Currencies or Crypto currencies. It is an emerging asset class for investors like Real Estate, Gold or Stocks where early investors stand to achieve the highest returns.
Bitcoin is a digital payment system with no intermediaries or banks. It was invented by a person or group using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto, and released as open-source software in 2009.
Bitcoin transactions are sent from and to Digital Bitcoin Wallets which can be downloaded on your computer or mobile phone.
As a new user, you can get started with Bitcoin without understanding the technical details.
You can purchase Bitcoins from your local Bitcoin Exchange in your local currency and transfer it to your Digital Bitcoin Wallet which you can install on your computer or mobile phone.
You can disclose your Digital Bitcoin Wallet addresses to your friends so that they can pay you or vice versa. In fact, this is pretty similar to how email works.
You can exchange your Bitcoins with your Local currency from your Local Bitcoin Exchange.