In October 2008, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin – Satoshi Nakamoto – published a paper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. The paper outlined a decentralized system for electronic transactions in which the issuing of Bitcoins and the management of transactions was conducted by the network.
Three months later, Nakamoto released version 0.1 of the Bitcoin software and mined the first Genesis block. The Bitcoin network was born. In less than a decade, Nakamoto´s “invention” revolutionized e-commerce and online payments. But was is Bitcoin? How do you get it? And, once you have got it, what can you do with it? That are a lot of questions, which would take a long time to answer and for you to read if we would want to go in depth. The following infographic by Playcasinoonline.net will give you a quick overview of some of the most interesting facts about Bitcoin.
A Brief Introduction to Bitcoin
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency – a digital currency which uses encryption techniques to regulate how units of the currency are generated and how transfers of the currency are verified. Bitcoin owners make digital payments by sending digitally signed messages to a shared public ledger called the block chain, where the messages are timestamped and verified and payments forwarded to the recipient.
The process by which transactions are verified and added are known as mining. Mining involves compiling recent transactions into blocks and solving a computationally difficult puzzle (like trying to crack a code), for which miners are rewarded with transaction fees and Bitcoin. It sounds complicated, but unless you are a Bitcoin miner, having a Bitcoin account is much like having a PayPal account.
How do You Get Bitcoin?
Whereas most early Bitcoin users got all their Bitcoin from mining, these days it is more common to purchase the digital currency from Bitcoin exchanges. There are many different Bitcoin exchanges to choose from and many different types of digital wallet to keep your Bitcoin safe (desktop, mobile, web, etc.). You simply transfer fiat currency (dollars, pounds, Euros, etc.) from your credit card or bank to the Bitcoin exchange, and the equivalent value of Bitcoin is transferred into your digital wallet.
The other way to get Bitcoin is to sell goods or services in return for Bitcoin. However, unlike PayPal transactions, Bitcoin transactions are irreversible. Also unlike PayPal, you are wholly responsible for the security of your cryptocurrency. So, if you lose the password to your Bitcoin wallet, there is nobody you can call to reset your password. It is also important to note that the fiat currency value of Bitcoin can be volatile. It is not recommended to run a business exclusively on Bitcoin.
Where Can You Spend Bitcoin?
According to Coinmap.org 13619 venues now offer a Bitcoin payment option – both online and on the High Street. Some online retailers are household names (Microsoft, Expedia, Blomberg, etc.), whereas others facilitate online shopping at places like Amazon.com by selling Amazon gift cards in exchange for Bitcoin. It is also possible to make charitable donations, pay for your cable service, or hide your identity behind a VPN with Bitcoin.
On the High Street, simply look for a “Bitcoin Accepted Here” sign. High Street retailers that accept Bitcoin provide you with a QR code at the checkout representing a Bitcoin address and a payment amount. Provided you have a Bitcoin wallet app on your smartphone, you will be able to scan the QR code and complete the transaction from your app. Alternatively, there are now thousands of Bitcoin ATMs to which you can transfer Bitcoin and withdraw cash.
The Future Looks Good for Bitcoin
Although the fiat currency value of Bitcoin can be volatile, the cryptocurrency is becoming more popular throughout most countries in the world. There is a cap on how much of the digital currency can be generated, but this cap won´t be reached for more than a hundred years so it is pretty safe to assume Bitcoin will be around for a while yet.
If you are interested in buying Bitcoin – either as a convenient form of payment or as a vehicle for investment – we recommend you look into the process in more depth before committing your hard-earned cash. If you are interested in Bitcoin for interest sake, we recommend reading the excellent infographic compiled by PlayCasinoOnline.net which is packed with the best 101 Bitcoin facts.