What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin. Why is it so popular?
People like you and I are tired. We’re tired of seeing the national banks get billions in payments for bailouts but when it gets to feeding the regular Joe that can barely find enough rent suddenly we have to tighten our belts. Suddenly, there’s not much money to go around. It’s the world over right now. In 2009 several banks were issued quadrillions in bailouts, Ireland too, and I think Greece as well, but who’s counting? Yet we look to our own streets at home and there’s so much trouble and destruction everywhere it makes you wonder. Or at least it does me.
Bitcoin was created as an answer to centralisation. It was created as a way to stop one authority dictating where all the money would go to. At the moment the general public feels powerless to have a say where anything large goes. And the governments own the largest amounts of wealth. With Bitcoin there is no hoarde owner and everyone will have a piece of the pie. It works in the same fashion that the internet works. It needs more than two connections to operate and can be moulded the more you add to it. When you have a wallet with some bitcoin in it then you are part of the chain. It basically needs hundreds of connections to work fast and operate well. It ends centralisation. Governments aren’t happy with it because it’s taken the power away from them, and they can’t just steal it from you like the can with a bank. It’s yours. They would have to raid your house and take your PC. That’s IF your PC has your bitcoin on it. Your wallet can be held on a usb stick, external hard drive, anything. Bitcoin has been around since 2009 and it has proved very stable. The only time that it’s faulted is through human intervention, ie, hacking.
The downside to owning Bitcoin, though, is that if you lose it, you’re f**ked. No getting the police to retrace it, no asking for it back. It’s 100% your responsibility.
Why is it so expensive?
- Joe Public is finally catching on to the real world applications of decentralisation and the power it can bring back to communities
- Large companies can trade between each other without the intervention of banks, their slow wait times and their extortionate fees. Large companies can trade internationally within minutes, in hundreds of thousands, and very, very minimal fees.
Damn that sounds good. How do I get my hands on it?
If you’re in America it’s quite easy to get your hands on some. Places like coinbase.com allow you to sign up, provide some identity and use your debit card to purchase some coins. Be wary of leaving your coins in websites though. The government at any time can shut them down. There was a quote from someone at the FBI saying that shutting down exchanges was similar to free money.
If you’re in the UK or any other region I prefer to use localbitcoins.com – there you need to sign up, provide identity and make a trade. Making a trade is fairly simple. Click the trader that best suits you with the options they have and hit trade. From there you can specify the amount of money you wish to pay them in exchange for bitcoin. I prefer National Bank Transfer which requires that I send money to the traders bank account via faster payments. Once they can clarify they have the money, then they release the bitcoins to you. From there you can transfer your bitcoin to a wallet of your choosing.
Transferring bitcoin is annoying at first until you get the hang of it. There’s a very long alphanumeric address that you have to copy and paste into the send option – it’s always the address your sending it to and make sure you have the right one!! I would test with very little amounts at first.
Bitcoin works in the way that 1 bitcoin = 1btc – Because btc is so expensive you can buy 0.01 btc and that is still a valid amount. Some exchanges will allow you to trade with 0.001 btc
As of this moment Bitcoin and its values work similar to this:
1btc = $8553.00
0.1btc = $855.30
0.01btc = $85.53
You mention government a lot – will I get into trouble?
No, Bitcoin isn’t recognised as value in the UK and USA until you exchange it for pounds or dollars. The only country that Bitcoin is a hundred percent illegal in is Russia. Funny that, decentralization is more in line with their supposed ideals. Makes you wonder!
You mention world changing. It’s a coin. It does nothing apart from boost transfer speeds and limit fees. What’s world changing about that?
Glad you asked actually. One word, Altcoins. Think of Bitcoin as the Granddaddy of cryptocurrency. It was the first one ever invented and it’s the one that’s valued the most. Every other coin draws its value against Bitcoin. So we don’t say, “Oh, this coin is worth $1,” we actually say, “Oh, this coin is worth 0.001btc” – it set a precedent. It paved the way for a whole load of bright eyed and bushy tailed people that wanted to change the world for the better, like me 🙂
I’d be here all day if I listed off all the other coins that were built on the backs of the pioneers of Bitcoin, but it’s the avenue I’m in and I must admit it’s quite exciting.
So far there’s a few I have my eye on.
There’s Steem – this is a blogging platform that allows you to create your own material and curate other material in exchange for some coin. Some people make a few pennies at the start but it’s the fastest way into crypto with 0 investment. Tip: I’ve made thousands in real cash money from Steem
It’s really exciting! There are plenty more. I’d suggest that you have a look in bittrex.com and see the vast amount of coins available. Hundreds, if not thousands.