Bitcoin (also known as BTC) is a decentralized digital currency that can be used to make online payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoins, unlike most other currencies, are not regulated by the government or a central bank. Instead, the currency is controlled through a peer-to-peer network which records and verifies transactions and spending.
Satoshi Nakamoto developed Bitcoin in 2008, and the first open-source network was made available to the public in 2009. As the popularity of the currency grew, many websites began offering products and accepting donations at Bitcoin rates. In recent years, Bitcoin has become the most widely used alternative currency, with the value of all bitcoins currently in distribution to be over 100 million US dollars.
How do bitcoins work?
Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer networking and public-key cryptography to process and verify payments. All bitcoin transactions are made through websites called “wallets”. Each user within the network is given a bitcoin address, a 33-character string of letters and numbers, which is used to track and confirm transactions.
Transactions are then broadcast so that the bitcoins cannot be spent more than once. During the confirmation process, each transaction is recorded in a series of six blocks to secure it beyond a reasonable doubt. As more and more transactions are made, a network can build up a blockchain of records to be used for future reference. Through this process, bitcoins can provide a fast and reliable method to pay online.
What are the advantages of bitcoins?
One of the greatest benefits of bitcoins is the ability to transfer money anywhere in the world quickly and easily. Since the currency is entirely digital, transactions can be performed quickly and anonymously between any network users. Another advantage of using bitcoins is that they are less expensive to use than other online payments.
As of 2012, Bitcoin transactions are made with virtually no transaction fees and thus are much more cost effective for online users. Bitcoins are also advantageous for users because it is completely regulated by software and cannot be tampered with by banks or government. The use of Bitcoin is a superb option for those looking to use a more independent form of currency. It allows users more freedom to spend and collect without the added fear of unwanted fees.
How do I get bitcoins?
The first step to accessing bitcoins is to get a bitcoin wallet: this is a network or program that allows you to send and receive bitcoins online. Many websites offer Bitcoin wallets to new users, and simple require a username and password for signup. The next step is to obtain your 33-character Bitcoin address, which will be used to track your transactions.
The address should be sent to you immediately after you sign up for your bitcoin wallet. Once you have your bitcoin address, you will able to buy bitcoins directly online with any cash exchange method; this includes credit/debit card payments and even Paypal. Before purchasing bitcoins online, be sure to research feedback and reviews for any website you are looking to buy from. Doing research will help prevent you from giving your money to illegitimate sites that look to scam, new buyers.
Using bitcoins can be a fast and cheap alternative when making purchases online. If you are looking to learn more about this new currency, various websites and blogs explore the benefits and gains of Bitcoins in depth. The internet is the best place for new users to access all the information they need to make the decision on whether or not bitcoins are right for them.
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