The Basics Bits of Bitcoin

Julia Eilert

The confusing currency that has taken the web by storm: Bitcoin. 

If you’ve been online at all in the last few months, then you’ve likely heard of Bitcoin. Recently, this new type of currency has been making quite the stir. While most people may have heard of Bitcoin, there are still many questions circling this newly realized concept.

Bitcoin is a type of digital currency without a central controller, meaning it isn’t regulated by the government or by any bank. It can be traded online fairly anonymously for various payment purposes. Taxi companies and even travel-booking sites are starting to accept this form of money. Lottery tickets can also be bought with bitcoin.

It was started in 2009 by an anonymous entity under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamo. Since the value of a bitcoin changes with the market, similarly to stocks, there are good periods and bad periods.

As this is being published, one bitcoin is worth $9,897 according to Bitcoin’s website. However, when it first was introduced, one bitcoin was worth less than 40 cents!

Bitcoin isn’t the only digital currency that is available to invest in, but it is the most famous by far. At the moment, there are over 800 types of cryptocurrency, and that number is sure to climb as more people jump on the bandwagon with their own ideas.

Investing in Bitcoin is a fairly simple process, despite the complexity that some perceive. After taking a few minutes to set up an account and choosing an online “wallet,” money can be transferred from your bank, or from a credit card, to your new Bitcoin account. From there, bitcoins can be bought and traded. Since there is no central command though, all transactions are final. There are many websites to go through to begin this process, but arguably the most reliable start would be from the original site,

Bitcoin is a financial investment. As it becomes more mainstream, its uses will expand and most likely so will its interface between everyday life and online transactions. 

It is daunting to take a leap and invest in something that is still hardly tangible, but Bitcoin’s rise is far from a coincidence as more people find comfort in the reliability of things online. 

If you are considering getting involved or learning more, there is an interactive tutorial on the website that is very helpful for any newcomers.

No matter what Bitcoin’s fate holds, it has definitely made an impact on lives already. 

In time it’s possible that some other payment may take the cryptocurrency’s coveted crown but for now Bitcoin reigns supreme.