What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a revolutionary currency created in 2008 by a developer under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. A “decentralized” digital currency with no central bank or controller, Bitcoin’s circulation is provided by a network of its users, who have a financial incentive to make sure transactions are fulfilled, recorded and secured.

Its backbone is the blockchain; a publicly visible ledger which allows anyone to verify a Bitcoin transaction – from those made minutes ago back to the very first one ever made.

As time went by, Bitcoin gained recognition beyond a computer geek community. In the spring of 2013, Bitcoin’s value more than doubled in the wake of the Cyprus Banking Crisis. People began to worry that their money would not be safe in banks, and they began converting their bucks into Bitcoin. As investors from China and elsewhere began to realize the potential of the currency, its value went from just over US$100 per Bitcoin to a peak of over $2,500.

You Control

Bitcoin and its blockchain technology give people control over their money, without needing consent from parents, banks, or governments.

Bitcoin wallets cannot be “frozen” like bank accounts.

With Bitcoin, transaction fees are extremely low. While there are sizeable fees associated with bank transfers, credit card payments, and PayPal payments, the fees associated with a Bitcoin transaction are miniscule.

Whereas credit card companies want to know much of your personal information, Bitcoin respects your privacy. Bitcoin is so secure that it would be far too costly for anyone to hack the entire network. Credit cards, on the other hand, are prone to major hacks.

Bitcoin Doesn’t Care Who You Are

Bitcoin is decentralized in such a way that it does not matter who uses it. With it, you can buy things that you otherwise might not be able to, such as goods restricted by age. But Bitcoin also has plenty of legal uses. You can now buy clothes, electronics, gift cards and much more online with Bitcoin – see our separate article for more information.

Bitcoins are not limited to online use. Numerous small businesses and local restaurants, for example, accept Bitcoin for payment. There are several nonprofit organizations—such as Khan Academy, Wikileaks, Antiwar.com, and Sean’s Outpost—that accept Bitcoin donations. Wikileaks now receives the majority of its donations in Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Doesn’t Care Where You Are

Bitcoin is international. From China to Argentina to the United States, people all around the world are using Bitcoin. Anyone can easily send it over the internet and around the world, facilitating international business. There’s no need to worry about exchange fees.

Learn More About Bitcoin

The following two websites provide useful information on the basics of Bitcoin:

www.weusecoins.com/en/getting-started https://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-for-individuals

Download a Bitcoin Wallet for free and in minutes here: https://blockchain.info/wallet

Here’s a short video explaining Bitcoin: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um63OQz3bjo

Here is a fun musical version of bitcoin history: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDqye8F4R6s

Disclaimer: Bitcoin anonymity is not something that it is easy and requires a good amount of prior research. We do not suggest you do anything illegal. This article is just information that you can get many other places. How you use Bitcoin is your own responsibility and at your own risk.