What is Bitcoin?

Electronic Digital Currency

Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are made with no middle men – meaning, no banks! There are no transaction fees and no need to give your real name. More merchants are beginning to accept them: You can buy webhosting services, pizza or even manicures.


Why Bitcoins?

Bitcoins can be used to buy merchandise anonymously. In addition, international payments are easy and cheap because bitcoins are not tied to any country or subject to regulation. Small businesses may like them because there are no credit card fees. Some people just buy bitcoins as an investment, hoping that they’ll go up in value.


Acquiring Bitcoins

Buy on an Exchange
Several marketplaces called “bitcoin exchanges” allow people to buy or sell bitcoins using different currencies. Mt. Gox is the largest bitcoin exchange.

Buy on an Exchange
People can send bitcoins to each other using mobile apps or their computers. It’s similar to sending cash digitally.

Mining
People compete to “mine” bitcoins using computers to solve complex math puzzles. This is how bitcoins are created. Currently, a winner is rewarded with 25 bitcoins roughly every 10 minutes.


Owning Bitcoins

Bitcoins are stored in a “digital wallet,” which exists either in the cloud or on a user’s computer. The wallet is a kind of virtual bank account that allows users to send or receive bitcoins, pay for goods or save their money.


Choose your Bitcoin wallet

Find your wallet and start making payments with merchants and users

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