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Bitcoins have been all over the news for the past couple of years. Recently, there has been a lot of controversy regarding them. This article's purpose is to elaborate on Bitcoins, their purpose, and how you can benefit. Check out the video below!
What are Bitcoins and how were they created?
Bitcoins are a type of virtual currency created by a mysterious programmer known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Little is known about Satoshi and his identity. In 2009, Satoshi uploaded a document revealing his master plan to create a decentralized, virtual currency. Soon after, companies worked together to make Satoshi's idea come to fruition. Satoshi is rumored to be in possession of roughly 1 million Bitcoins, making him a billionaire.
Who regulates Bitcoins and what's to stop a hacker from stealing mine?
Bitcoins are a decentralized type of currency. This means that it is not regulated by any one institution, like banks or the federal government. Bitcoin transactions are made secure by miners. Miners are programmers who have computers running 24/7 working to verify all Bitcoin movement. Bitcoin transactions are always posted on a chain that is view-able online making it harder for hackers to steal Bitcoins without being caught. Bitcoins can be stored in virtual wallets. Many Bitcoin wallets are insecure and can be prone to being hacked. The security of your Bitcoins matter entirely on the strength of your wallet.
What is the value of a BitCoin?
The current value of a Bitcoin (March, 2015) is 250.15 USD. BitCoins were originally worth only a fraction of a cent now the value has grown exponentially. One of the downsides to decentralized currency is the fact that the currency itself is only worth as much as its users are willing to pay. For example, the US government regulates the value of the dollar so consumer and investors have some protection for its value falling catastrophically. The value of Bitcoins are unregulated so they have been known to double in value and exponentially decrease in value. The value also depends on the scarcity of the Bitcoin. Satoshi limited the maximum amount of Bitcoins in circulation to 23 Million, which means that the last Bitcoin will be created around 2140. This system allows for the scarcity of BitCoins to multiply as years pass, which can often mean that the value increases.
Where can I use BitCoins?
The list of places you can use them is small but companies are joining every day. Here are a few.
Microsoft Windows Store, Overstock.com, Dell, Newegg, Wordpress, Reddit, TigerDirect, CVS, Amazon, Home Depot, and Kmart.
How can I get BitCoins?
BitCoins are circulated through a process called mining. Miner are the computers that verify the secure transaction of BitCoins. Once a BitCoin is securely transfered that miners are given a certain percentage of one BitCoin. Miners often have their computer's running 24/7 to maximize profit. Mining is only profitable when you have a bunch of computers running at once. Otherwise, the cost of electricity outweighs the value of the BitCoins made. Anyone can turn their computer into a miner. A video demonstrating this will be uploaded in the near future.