Introduced in 2009, Bitcoin is a digitized currency that can be used to make purchases electronically. One of its main advantages is that it is based on a decentralized framework and is not subject to control and mishandling by any one centralized body or institution. Users work together to maintain Bitcoin and to make sure that it runs properly. It has had a revolutionary impact on the way that online purchases are conducted, as users may now enjoy its unparalleled safety, security and ease of use.
Without getting too bogged down in the technicalities, Bitcoins are generated through a competitive process called ‘mining’, where individuals are rewarded new bitcoins for solving mathematical algorithms called ‘blocks’. Solving each block will offer either 50 or 25 bitcoins and new blocks are typically generated between 10 minute intervals.
Mining is done through an open-sourced mining software called Block Chain, which is the operating system that Bitcoin is based on.
One of the major upsides of using Bitcoins is that the blocks are completely transparent and anyone may view the transactions and assist in making sure that the system is functioning properly. Thus, Bitcoin has a self-regulating mechanism in the form of decentralized maintenance and control. Users won’t have to worry about any one governing body’s fraudulent activities or mishandlings, as the community of bitcoin users or ‘miners’ verifies each other’s transactions.
Also, the use of codes in order to verify that a user is indeed an owner of an account ensures that only the user to whom the code is unique is the only one who can make transactions, since this code cannot be duplicated and used by more than one user.
Moreover, Bitcoin is easy to use and is swift in handling online transactions and also offers advantages in terms of reduced fees. Users are able to buy and sell bitcoins instantaneously at the click of a button. This is facilitated by Bitcoin ATMs and wallets.
Bitcoin ATMs are available in the majority of countries and allow users to easily obtain bitcoins by simply inputting some basic personal information, inserting cash into the machine and then confirming the transaction. They will then receive an immediate deposit of bitcoins to the address that they have provided.
Bitcoin Wallets (the most popular of which include names such as include Circle, Cubits, Coinbase, BTC, Multibit and Block Chain) offer another easy way to obtain bitcoins. In brief, the process is straightforward and involves opening a Bitcoin URL on a browser, signing in or registering and then inputting basic information. The user will be provided an encrypted code that they can use to make transactions.
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