"how is bitcoin NOT just another fiat currency? AND, how is it not controlled by the bankers?"
How many Fiat currencies do you know of that go up in value instead of down?
They use currencies to steal you blind. Example. You work for a wage hoping for a raise. You think you're getting ahead when you get a raise but they are devaluing the currency they are paying you all along through inflation.
Bitcoin went up to over $1800 today. Do you thing the US dollar has a chance of doing that ever?