What is a Bitcoin?
Bitcoins are a form of digital currency. This electronic currency has no ties to central banks, governments or other centralized authorities. Bitcoin is the first de-centralized digital payment method of its kind.
Can I use Bitcoins anywhere?
While bitcoins are becoming more widely accepted each day, they are not yet accepted everywhere. Some do expect, however, that growth within this network will continue and that the day will come when bitcoins are accepted by merchants of all types.
How can I start using Bitcoins?
Anyone can begin sending or receiving bitcoins, and the process to get started is fairly simple and straightforward.
The first step in being able to pay with or receive bitcoins is to obtain a bitcoin wallet. Wallets can be obtained through various providers. One will also want to decide what type of wallet they want i.e. a desktop, mobile or web wallet. One then needs to add bitcoins to their wallet. This can be done by either purchasing bitcoins from a bitcoin exchange, accepting payment for goods or services in bitcoins or by purchasing bitcoins from another individual.
Once one has bitcoins in their wallet, they may begin making purchases using those bitcoins.
Can I make bitcoin transactions from my cell phone?
Yes. Bitcoin wallet applications can be installed on certain smart phones enabling one to make purchases or receive payments in bitcoins from their phone.
Is bitcoin only in certain countries?
Bitcoin is a global digital network. As such, one can make purchases with bitcoins at any merchant on the globe that accepts bitcoins. One can also send bitcoins to anyone on the globe.
Who owns bitcoin?
Bitcoin is not owned or controlled by any single person, entity or central bank. Bitcoin is controlled by its users.
How are new bitcoins created?
New bitcoins are created by a process known as “mining.” The number of bitcoins mined is decreased each year, and will continue to do so until a total of 21 million bitcoins exist at which point issuance will stop completely.
What gives a bitcoin value?
Bitcoins have value because they can be used as a form of money. While bitcoins have the same characteristics as traditional money, they are not backed by precious metals or central banks. Bitcoin derives its value from mathematics, as well as from those willing to accept bitcoins as a method of payment.
Can I make anonymous purchases using bitcoins?
When making a purchase using bitcoins, one’s personal information need not also be a part of the transaction. This can potentially help prevent identity theft and unauthorized credit card use.
What determines the price of bitcoins?
Bitcoin prices are driven by the supply/demand equation. As demand increases, prices may rise. As demand decreases, prices may fall. Because bitcoins are of limited supply and are issued at a set, declining rate, the price for bitcoins can experience volatility. In addition, the bitcoin market’s lack of size can also add to price volatility.