http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/a-relatively-easy-to-understand-primer-on-elliptic-curve-cryptography/Elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) is one of the most powerful but least understood types of cryptography in wide use today. An increasing number of websites make extensive use of ECC to secure everything from customers' HTTPS connections to how they pass data between data centers. Fundamentally, it's important for end users to understand the technology behind any security system in order to trust it. To that end, we looked around to find a good, relatively easy-to-understand primer on ECC in order to share with our users. Finding none, we decided to write one ourselves. That is what follows.

Note: The cryptographic algorithm used by the Bitcoin protocol is based on ECC