What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a revolutionary techonology and digital currency that does not function within the constraints of traditional banks, governments, or third party corporations.
Bitcoin is open source, which means anyone can see and access the software. The network, in its entirety, exists as a decentralized, global computer system. No one owns Bitcoin, but instead it is controlled by its vast array of voluntary users around the world.
Bitcoin is revolutionizing the way the world views commerce, communication, government, and money.
Bitcoin glossary: Let's define our terms
A unique identifier for sending, receiving, and storing bitcoins. Also known as a “public key,” each Bitcoin address is paired with a unique “private key” which functions like a secret account password. Both are needed to access coins held at an address. The number of possible Bitcoin addresses is effectively infinite, allowing users to create a new, free address for each transaction.
The unified, public record of all transactions on the Bitcoin network. Approximately every 10 minutes, Bitcoin miners update the blockchain with a new “block.” Each new block records all valid transactions that occurred since the previous block was added. No company, individual, or government can edit the Bitcoin blockchain, making it a permanent record of consensus of global economic activity.
Currency created and secured through cryptography, which is a method of ensuring the secure exchange of information between a sender and intended recipients. Cryptocurrencies are generally regulated by predictable mathematics and computer code, rather than the wills and whims of individuals, companies, or governments.
Having no central authority. In this case, there is no central government, individual, or business that controls Bitcoin. Centralized systems for money generally require users to transact through middlemen like banks and credit card companies, whereas Bitcoin enables direct, peer-to-peer financial transactions.
Limited in supply. Opposite of infinite.
A medium of exchange.
Generally, an application used for managing Bitcoin addresses/keys and their associated funds. Wallet software is available as mobile, desktop, and web apps. Wallets can also be secured offline on specialized hardware devices or even on a piece of paper.
Bitcoin has several advantages to consumers and business owners. Here's just a few reasons why people are flocking to Bitcoin:
- Little to no transaction fees. While credit card companies charge anywhere from 3-5% for "processing fees" - Bitcoin charges pennies, or nothing at all.
- Bitcoin can be exchanged quickly over long distances at no additional cost, at any time of day. You can send a payment to an individual from Alaska to Ghana in minutes for a few pennies. So long Western Union!
- You own all the money in your wallet. There is no bank or third party holding your money. Who trusts banks these days anyway?
- The security around Bitcoin is made up of the latest encryption technology. That means fraud is next to impossible. No one is going to steal your Bitcoin if properly stored and password protected. (see How to Use Bitcoin section)
- It's clean. We all know how dirty paper money can be.
- It's more than just a currency. The Blockchain has potential to timestamp and verify all types of transactions or events. Someone even marked their wedding on the Blockchain!
- In developing countries, many people go without the efficiency of a bank. Bitcoin gives people the opportunity to store money and transact with others.
6 Ways to acquire Bitcoin:
There are a few ways you can get your hands on this currency that is taking the world by storm.
- You can purchase Bitcoin through an online exchange. Online accounts are far less secure than other means and usually include withdrawal fees. Do not keep large amounts of Bitcoin in these accounts.
- You can buy Bitcoin directly from another person. This is the fastest and cheapest way to acquire Bitcoin. Some popular ways to find Bitcoin sellers are Craigslist, localbitcoins.com, or Reddit.
- Sell goods and services and accept Bitcoin as payment! It's a great way to stand out from your competitors and payment processors make it easy for your customers. Check out BitPay.com.
- You can mine Bitcoin with a fancy computer. Due to the increased level of difficulty this has become a high barrier to entry as a means to acquiring Bitcoin.
How to use Bitcoin:
Before you spend your bitcoins, you need somewhere to store them! Finding a safe place to store your bits varies by the users' preferences. Day-to-day transactions can be made through using a smart phone or desktop wallet (also known as a “hot wallet”) like Blockchain.info, Mycelium, or Pheeva. For longterm storage of your Bitcoin, large or small, consider a hard drive wallet as well as cold storing your bits in a paper wallet. Always be sure to memorize your wallet password, and don't lose it. You can not recover your wallet password. Keep all of your passwords safe and private.
Retailers around the world have been incorporating Bitcoin into their payments at a rapid speed. Some options are Overstock.com, Tiger Direct, Microsoft, select Subway restaurants, and right here at Amagi Metals. Spending Bitcoin is easy and safe.
Amagi Metals began accepting Bitcoin in 2012 and has since skyrocketed to one of the top Bitcoin to gold websites around the world. Our mission is to promote financial responsibility and sound money, while supporting the cryptocurrency community with educational support and passion. We are a company made up of Bitcoin enthusiasts and are happy to answer any questions you may have about Bitcoin - we'll even help you set up a wallet!
Our gold and silver products are trusted worldwide and are always offered at some of the lowest premiums in the industry. We can't wait to help you secure your wealth!