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The technology is unique because of the decentralized structure. No one has control over the flow of transactions. Rather a network of peers manages everything. A public distributed ledger records all transactions. This is what you call the blockchain.
Transactions are grouped into blocks. The blocks are encrypted and require hashing power to be solved. Miners provide this power. As a result they earn Satoshis as compensation.
21 million BTC will only ever exist. This will probably be achieved around the year 2140. One Bitcoin divides into 100 million Satoshis. Hence there will be about 2.1 thousand billion Satoshis. People lose passwords and make wrong transactions. Lost Satoshis can not be recoverd.