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WTF is Bitcoin? A Super-Simple Guide to Buying, Selling and Mining It

The Digital Cash Wave is Here.

Everyone is familiar with money and currencies around the world.

This system is old, well-established, and has penetrated all aspects of our personal, professional, and financial life.

Well, Bitcoin is here to change that.

With the advent of technology and its increased influx into daily life, it’s not really surprising that a new form of currency based entirely on technology and the Internet has been introduced into the sphere.

This currency is called Bitcoin.

Is it the right option for you? Can you invest in it safely?

Yes and yes, but with any investment, Bitcoin can also be volatile.  

Plus, tons are making a KILLING doing it.  It’s time you joined the mix.  

So, What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency that’s created and stored via computer.

It can’t be printed into physical notes and coins, and it isn’t controlled by any single party.

Bitcoin is entirely independent and is created in an open source format like many successful software programs and platforms such as WordPress, Android, etc.

Bitcoin is the first of the few digital currencies that are a part of an emerging field in finance called cryptocurrency. While the system is still under development and hasn’t been universally accepted yet, it’s still creating quite a bit of buzz because of its potential to make the system more secure and transactions safer.

The currency was first proposed by a software developer by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto.

He believed that currency based on a solid mathematical principle would prove to be a better and more secure alternative to the current system.

We can define Bitcoin as lines of code that are generated based on a mathematical principle and aren’t controlled by any authority.

What is it Used For?

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People are naturally hesitant to adopt Bitcoin because it’s a new and relatively untested system.

However, global interest in cryptocurrency has grown considerably in the past few years; especially since the use of technology has increased.

People have become increasingly comfortable with financial transactions handled through technology and the use of cold hard cash has decreased over time.

Bitcoin can be used to power a number of transactions, but restricted primarily to digital transactions.

The money is exchanged through online wallet platforms and only users who share the same digital wallet can accept it.

Once you set up an account with a wallet and exchange money to accumulate Bitcoins, you can start transacting and using the currency wherever it’s accepted.

Why is Bitcoin better than cash?

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Cash isn’t as secure as people would like it to be.

It’s easy to create fraudulent transactions, print fake money, scam people, use stolen money, etc.

People have accepted these flaws and problems as a part of using cash and carrying out cash-based transactions, but Bitcoin changes this fundamental flaw.

Here are some reasons why Bitcoin is a much better alternative:

Decentralized – One of the biggest advantages of Bitcoin is that it’s decentralized and isn’t controlled by any institutions or individuals.

Every machine that mines Bitcoin and transfers it is a part of an automated system that works as one. 

This means that one authority or market can’t tamper with the system and cause a complete meltdown. No authority can simply confiscate money from you or devalue it.

Easy to set up – If you’ve been through the bank application process, you know just how troublesome it can be to create an account and keep it running.

There’s no such hassle involved with Bitcoin as you can simply open an online wallet and account, purchase coins, and start using them in transactions.

It’s also quite easy to link your bank account to your wallet and carry out a money transfer.

Bitcoin is transparent – These coins are transparent and every transaction that happens is recorded and tracked by a ledger called blockchain.

Everyone that’s a part of the system will be able to view where Bitcoin is kept and how many are allocated in a particular location.

And as the system is anonymous, users won’t know who it belongs to, providing a good balance of privacy and transparency.

This should give you a brief idea of how Bitcoins work

Here are answers to some common questions about Bitcoins:

How Can I Buy Bitcoin?

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You can purchase Bitcoin through a Bitcoin wallet software or online wallets. You can then link it to your bank account and purchase or sell a variety of coins.  For us, we follow this process:

  1. Setup an Online Wallet
    1. Coinbase – is a secure online platform for buying, selling, transferring, and storing digital currency.
    2. Paxful – Buy bitcoin instantly, sell bitcoin, spend and accept bitcoin
    3. Transfer $100 to test the waters
      1. You can also setup recurring payments from your bank account!
    4. Lastly, you can sign up for websites like Polonieux to trade Bitcoin for other popular coins like Ehtereum, Litecoin and more!

Where Can I Trade It?

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We prefer Poloniex as it is a pure crypto to crypto exchange based in the United States. With a grand redesign in early 2015 the site has added a wealth of features to provide a fully immersive trading experience.

Technical analysis charts and live chat mean it is easy to stay abreast of news flow and analyse price trends before taking a position.

How Can I Mine it?

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Mining requires a dedicated computer with SERIOUS processing power.

It will decrypt one block of Bitcoin at a time and allow you to use it.

On a normal desktop, this process can take upwards of a year.

As Bitcoin continues to grow and develop, we’ll continue providing more insight.  In the meantime, head over to our Ultimate Cryptocurrency Glossary

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Written by John D. Saunders

John is a Marketing Strategist and Investor. As the Founder of 5Four Digital, a Marketing Agency in Miami, John leverages his understanding of money management and Marketing to create financial opportunities.

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