Bitcoin is an interesting phenomenon that’s not only revolutionizing the way people look at currency, but is also offering a medium of trade that the banks and the government are having trouble getting complete control of with their dirty hands. Bitcoin is a digital currency, and one that is encrypted when it is being transferred from place to place so that it is protected. On top of that there are only so many bitcoins that can be available at any one time, and as they are inevitably catching on with mainstream America, the value is going up as they are a virtual stock that is skyrocketing in value as it gains the public’s attention.
“Virtual currencies, perhaps most notably bitcoin, have captured the imagination of some, struck fear among others and confused the heck out of many of us.”
Is what Tom Carper the Homeland Security Committee Chairman had to say on the topic. The Bitcoin Foundation is a not for profit organization committed to the promotion the virtual currency as well as the technology behind it. Bitcoin is currently unregulated although Treasury department has made sure to recognized bitcoin as well as other virtual currencies as legitimate financial options. Bitcoin may be a high risk form of currency though as it is unclear how mainstream society will adopt the currency but popularity and value have soared in recent months, topping $650 for a single bitcoin on Monday.
Vancouver has just in the last few weeks installed the world’s very first bitcoin ATM, and if that doesn’t get you interested consider that bitcoin offers a couple other advantages such as low exchange fees, no variance in value from country to country, and near-instantaneous transfer. There are some risks involved with this as the average person does not fully understand the encryption process, and if pass codes are lost, there is the potential to completely lose access to the funds in your bitcoin wallet. I’d say this system is a revolutionary idea, but it only surfaced in 2009, so the idea is still in its infancy, and needs to still be fully developed before it can become fully trustworthy as a completely viable source of wealth to accumulate.
Bitcoin is basically a digital form of currency based off of Internet in which a virtual coin purse is kept. It is a user to user exchange, without a bank or any kind of central monetary authority involved as a middleman to regulate it or issue it. Although can be used to buy real g, as long as those goods from retailers that are willing to accept it. If you’re having trouble find a place that accepts bitcoin, it can be exchanged for standard currency, such as US Dollars, and Euros, at certified bitcoin exchanges, although critics like to cite that bitcoins have fluctuated wildly in value. This is the case, although it has trended in a mostly upward direction. When bitcoin was first introduced to the market in 2009 they sold for less than a dollar per coin.
I myself am going to eventually invest in some bitcoin and play around with the market and see where the virtual stock takes me. I’m kicking myself for not buying some earlier as there was a story about a man named Kristoffer Koch who bought $27 worth of bitcoin when it first popped up because he was interested in the encryption process. He had all but forgotten about his purchase until bitcoin has been showing up in the news lately, and when he checked out what his digital currency was worth when he went to exchange it, the 5000 bitcoins he had purchased were now worth $886,000. It’s definitely a good idea to do your research into the new revolutionary digital currency before you make a decision to purchase some, but if you have a bit of money sitting around that you could spare. It’s worth a shot at seeing if you can turn a profit on investing in a few bitcoins.
By Brandon Webb