- Published: Thursday, 09 January 2014 12:49
- Written by Editor
Introduction To Bitcoin
By now many millions of people arpound the world will have at least heard of Bitcoin, but only a small percentage of these will understand Bitcoin, much less have actually used it yet.
This situation is in many ways highly reminiscent of the early days of the Internet where the Internet such as it was back then, with no websites, largely regarded as a hobbyist, enthusiast and academic technology for geeks. As with Bitcoin, many people were beginning to here of the Internet, but had little or no idea what it was, what it could do, much less how to connect and use it. Over the years however as the Internet evolved with the arrival of the Worldwide Web, the Internet exponentially gained acceptance with exponentially more users, technologically evolving all the time, until eventually become the resource most people cannot do without today, with billions of users around the world.
Bitcoin Will Almost Certainly Follow The Same Course As The Internet With A Few Early Pioneers Giving Way To A Global, Virtual Currency Used By Billions of People Around The World With The Very Real Potential To Replace All Existing Fiat Currencies Anf The Global Banking System - Not Before Time.
Here Is A Short Video Introducing Bitcoin
History Of Bitcoin
Bitcoin came in to being in 2008 after being invented and developed by a person or group of people going under the pseudonym "Satoshi Nakamoto" - thought to be a cyptographer or group of cryptographers. Like the Internet, from small, highly specialised, innocuous beginnings, Bitcoin has rapidly evolved over the years since its inception in 2008, to become a pseudo currency used by millions, with each Bitcoin unit worth an ounce of Gold Bullion.
Here are some excellent resources illustrating the History of Bitcoin. Links open in a new browser window:
How Bitcoin Works - The Technology
In broad terms Bitcoin is what is known as a "peer to peer" technology and payment system, in other words works directly between two or more users as opoosed to going through the internediary of a central server or system. The benefits of this are tremendous in that the user, the holder of Bitcoins as total control over transaction without being at the whims and mercy of a third party intermediary such as a bank.
Bitcoin do not actually exist as "coins" or anything tangible, but rather records, or cryptographic signatures that exit only on the "Blockchain" - the Bitcoin Network. If this sounds alarming, then consider that the Fiat Currencies that are do familar - the US Dollar, British Pound and so on are little more than "Monopoly Money, not even worth the money they are printed on - except that billions are generated at the press of a computer key out of thin air thus devaluing the currency as a whole. Fiat currencies have zero asset backing, have zero tangible value, and can be created in infinite anounts without any control, often, as in the case of the US Dollar, by private companies run scretively for the benefit of a very few people.
Bitcoin on the other hand has no central control and cannot be forged our created in infinite amounts. The maximum number of Bitcoin that can ever be created, or "mined", is 21 Million, which will likely take decades to reach, and is therefore self-regulating. Bitcoin is therefore a very real system of value exchange, like the Internet, for the people, by the people, and not for the benefit, control and profit of the few.
While the entire technology mechanism of Bitcoin is inherently complicated, it simply is not necessary to understand how Bitcoin work in order to use it effectively, anymore than iy is necessary to understand how the Internet works or a computer works - all that is actually required is a basic understanding and above all how to use Bitcoin in practice safely and effectively.
It would take many pages to fully describe Bitcoin technology effectively, which has been done before, so for those interested in the depths of how Bitcoin works.
Here are some excellent links which open in a new browser window:
Here Is Another Video Offering A More Detailed Overview Of How Bitcoin Works
How To Use Bitcoin
Using Bitcoin is remarkable easy once you take the plunge and begin using it, in fact you will realise just how powerful and revolutionary it really is.
To begin using Bitcoin you will need a Bitcoin Wallet. These are available broadly in two forms - online wallets which are accessed through a web browser, and offline wallets which is a software program that is installed on your computer or smart phone. An offline wallet is more secure providing it is backed up properly and often, due to the fact that online wallets have more potential to be hacked and Bitcoins lost.
Before you can start using Bitcoin you will need to obtain Bitcoins to store in your Wallet. These may be obtained in a number of ways, all of which involve exchanging Currency such as the US Dollar, British Pound, Euro etc for Bitcoins which will be transferred to your Bitcoin Wallet so you can begin using it to purchase goods and services.
The most popular way of obtaining Bitcoins for cash is at a Bitcoin Exchange such as these:
Another way of buying Bitcoin is by contacting someone directly who wishes to sell. The advantage of this is that it is possible to meet face to face for greater security and trust, and the exchange can be carried out anywhere with Internet access such as a home or coffee shop.
So now you are all set to become part of the exciting and rapidly expanding world of Bitcoin and Digital Currencies - the future - which puts the future of currency, eCommerce and exchange of value firmly in the hands of you, the user. Now is the time to begin as Bitcoin really starts to take off to become the next huge phenomena after the Internet itself.
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