Bitcoin was introduced on January 3rd of 2009 when a team of hackers found out how to establish a computer coded system that permits people to transfer money to one another online, anonymously and outside of government control. Bitcoin is growing throughout the world, especially for those who are tech savvy as well as in remote locations, such as Africa, that don’t normally have access to major world currencies.
Bitcoin works somewhat like a global currency. It doesn’t have a physical equivalent. Instead, Bitcoin users have an account with a private password where they can store their Bitcoins. A distributed public ledger known as the “blockchain” records balances and transactions among each “Bitcoin address.”
Bitcoin could potentially disrupt global finance because, in the dollar-based monetary system, citizens entrust banks and other fee-charging intermediaries to act as gatekeepers to almost every transaction. These intermediaries also have very close guarded in-house ledgers that decide whether or not customers have enough credit to write checks, buy goods, etc. However, Bitcoin has changed this, so that a widely distributed, publicly displayed ledger operated by “miners” shows the balances held by each user of the monetary system. There are thousands of these “miners” that work independently to keep this public ledger up-to-date.
Bitcoin remains valuable as a currency because all parties involved recognize it as “money.” While it is not tangible like the dollar, it is believed to have value; therefore, it will remain a valuable online currency.
If you want to start a Bitcoin account, you first must acquire a Bitcoin wallet. There are many ways to this. You will be able to find a large variety of providers that also have multiple levels of security. Some of these providers store your Bitcoins on your hard drive, and some of them store them online in secure “vaults.” Many users choose to have a local wallet for small amounts of currency, much like a debit card’s account. Also, many users have another account in another location for larger quantities, much like a savings account.
You then will need to acquire your Bitcoins either in exchange for your goods and services, or you can purchase them from an exchange much like you would at a foreign exchange kiosk. You can pay with your credit card, cash, check, or a wire transfer. Also, you could also purchase bitcoins in person by finding a seller near you which is a good idea if you would prefer to preserve your anonymity or avoid banks.
As Bitcoins become more popular across the globe, more and more online merchants are offering a way to pay with Bitcoin. You can even buy gift cards for to use at local retail stores via Gyft.
While Bitcoin is not the conventional way to invest your money, they may be an excellent way to increase your assets since their exchange rates are always changing. Bitcoin will continue to grow as the global economy grows. More and more e-commerce is taking place which means Bitcoin will become a more efficient way to pay and trade for goods and services.