So, you’ve all heard of it. Bitcoin, the magical internet currency. However, while many have heard of it, many do not know what is is, how it’s used or where to get it. Hopefully I will be able to answer all three of these questions in a quick and concise manner.
What is it?
Bitcoin in essence is a liquid currency that is able to be divided into a fraction to the thousands of places. The reason it can do this is because it is a virtual currency, one that has no existence in the physical plane. Now the reason why it does this is due to the fact that a single bitcoin (1.0000 BTC) can be valued at anywhere from $500 to $700 dollars depending on the current market price. So, to be able to use this currency for smaller transactions it needs to be divided into ridiculously small fractions.
How is it used?
Bitcoin is much like real currency in the terms that it is held in a wallet of sorts. These wallets are downloaded from the internet and given a unique ID number which is used to both send and recieve bitcoin. For example, say my friend gave me a DVD and asked for .0005 BTC in return. So to give them this bitcoin I would go to my wallet, go to the send tab, type in their ID number, input the amount of BTC to be sent and then click send. It’s that easy!
Where to get Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is in this sense a lot more like stocks than cold hard cash. To get bitcoin you have to go to a bitcoin exchange, a place where you exchange your USD to BTC. There are many of these online, a few examples would be Bitstamp, BTC-E, and itBit. The average processes for each of these sites goes along the lines of create an acoount, insert money in to your account, input your wallet ID, put in a buy order for bitcoin and hopefully recieve bitcoin at your desired price.
While this may seem a bit overwhelming I can assure you that this is a bare bones summary of the wide world of virtual currency. If interested you can research the whole bitcoin process further here!
– Casey W.