Bitcoin is one of those things absolutely everyone has heard of but hardly anyone understands. Like stocks and shares, the human psyche, and tin openers, we have a surface knowledge of how it’s meant to function and what it’s supposed to do, but it doesn’t go much deeper.
The thing is, it can be hard to ask for an explanation. When it comes up as a topic of conversation, we feel like we should already know all about it, and this suspicion is hardly conducive to learning. Are you interested to know more about Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology?
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Luckily, we’re here to remedy the problem on your behalf! Ready to banish the days of furrowed brows and shifty-eyed avoidance? Then here’s what you need to know.
Where did bitcoin come from?
When it comes to understanding something, it’s usually best to start at the beginning, so here’s a quick backstory to cement your bitcoin expertise. Bitcoin was invented in 2009 (although it didn’t garner significant public attention until much later) by a person or group – no one knows which – who referred to themselves as Satoshi Nakamoto. With a stated goal of creating a ‘new electronic cash system’ that was ‘completely decentralized’, Nakamoto cultivated the concept and created the tech, before handing over the source code and domains in 2011 and promptly disappearing.
What is bitcoin?
Now for the most important part: what is bitcoin? To put it simply, bitcoin is a digital or virtual currency, in the sense that it doesn’t exist in any physical form. It’s also – and importantly – decentralized, which means it’s not controlled by any institution, government, or other authority.
Those who own bitcoin are entirely anonymous. Rather than using names, tax IDs or social security numbers to transact, buyers and sellers are connected through encryption keys.
Interestingly, this currency is not issued from the top down as in a traditional financial system. Instead, the coins are ‘mined’ by powerful computers connected to the internet. This mining can be carried out by either a person, group, or company, who must complete a combination of advanced math and record-keeping to be successful.
The gigantic digital ledger created through this process, which is also used to enable the sending and receiving of bitcoin, is collectively known as the ‘blockchain’.
How can I buy bitcoin?
As we mentioned above, bitcoin is something which can be purchased, and getting set-up is as easy as pie – comparable to creating a PayPal account, for instance. You’ll need to join a digital currency exchange to start with, and there are many of these in existence, including Coinbase, Coinmama, CEX and Kraken. Once you’re a member, you can then make a deposit into a virtual wallet, and as soon as the funds hit your account, you’ll be able to exchange this physical capital for its comparative value in bitcoin.
What can I do with bitcoin?
Now for the burning question: what can you actually do with bitcoin? The simple answer is that you can buy items or services , with over 100,000 merchants now allowing you to transact in this manner. These include everyone from gaming outlets to gambling enterprises – for example, BitsStarz accepts bitcoin and AUD! You can use bitcoin to pay for its casino games, which include slots and table offerings. as do many, many others. You can also use bitcoin to pay for all sorts of different items on Overstock.com or Etsy, where over a thousand vendors support BTC payments.
Alternatively, you can either hang onto your bitcoin or sell it to others. Those who are using it purely for investment purposes often choose one or the other of these options, in the hopes that they can ultimately make a profit on their speculation.
Tell us, would you ever consider purchasing this virtual currency yourself? With some touting bitcoin as the money of the future, the ongoing investment opportunities could be endless.