What are BITCOINS?
1. Bitcoin is a virtual currency that rises in value. Only 21 million coins will be mined or made. It is also known as a Crypto Currency.
2. Bitcoin is a secure merchant payment system that has NO CHARGEBACKS OR FRAUD.
In conclusion: All this mathematical technology may be a bit of a mouthful, but what it means in practice is that BitCoin works just like cash. Bitcoin transactions are intentionally irreversible–unlike credit cards or PayPal where chargebacks can invalidate a payment that has already been made. And there are no middlemen. Transactions are completed directly between the sender and the receiver via the peer to peer network.
Because of BitCoin’s intricate design, the network remains secure no matter where or how you process bitcoin transactions. Which is incredible–no one else has ever tried to create a system that worked this way! All previous monetary systems have relied on trusting somebody, whether it was the king, town hall, the federal reserve, or banks. BitCoin doesn’t. It’s guaranteed instead by the laws of mathematics, and that’s why it has everyone from technologists to economists very excited. I’m sure you have lots more questions, so scan the index below to see if they’ve been asked before, then dive in! The so-called “canonical” threads linked from this index are considered newbie-friendly zones; outside of them you’re welcome to try your own luck.
People with a knack for investing understand the value of spotting the NEXT BIG THING before anyone else does.
Sample this – a single bitcoin was worth 80 cents (USD 0.80) at the beginning of 2011, and as of Sept 2012 , it is worth over USD 12.00 dollars !!!!!! ( as of 26 Sept 2012 ). Oppa Bitcoin wow!
6 DEC 2012 price : 1 BTC = USD 13.27
As of Sept 2012, there are roughly 12,000 bitcoin miners around the globe; 10 million btc in existence; ;USD 200 million in the btc ecosystem ; over 1000 merchants accepting btc in the USA (thanks to Bit-pay.com) and it’s attracting a lot of VC and Silicon Valley attention !
As of 3 OCT 2016, there are roughly 15.9 million btc in existence. See http://realtimebitcoin.info/
BELOW: How a Bitcoin Transaction works!
BELOW – WHAT ARE BITCOINS?
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Erik Voorhees had a good write up on Bitcoins (September 26, 2012). Here’s what he said:
1. What is bitcoin? How long has it been around? How extensively is it used?
Bitcoin is two things which share a name: 1) a payment system and 2) a currency. You use the Bitcoin payment system to send bitcoins as currency from one account holder to another. The transfer is instantaneous, carries no necessary fee, works anywhere in the world, and is private.
1) The payment system itself is revolutionary – nothing like it has ever been done. The system is decentralized, so there is no “server farm” or corporate office which controls payments. Transactions occur “peer to peer” just like file-sharing. To use the system, you can either download the client software (which runs on your computer and stores money locally) or you can use an “ewallet” which is a website run by a 3rd party which holds the funds for you (simpler, but introduces counter-party risk if the 3rd party is not trustworthy).
2) The currency units used on this payment system have a market price, based purely on supply and demand. Currently one bitcoin is worth about $12 USD, and there are a couple dozen exchanges around the world which enable conversion between normal government currencies and bitcoins. The currency unit can be divided to eight decimal places (so you can send someone 0.00000001 bitcoins). There are about 10 million bitcoins currently in existence (as of Sept. 2012) and there will never be more than 21 million in existence. They are released in blocks of 50 bitcoins at a time every ten minutes and this amount gets cut in half every four years (thus creating the limit of 21 million coins).
How extensively is Bitcoin used? Well, around the world there are somewhere between 100,000 and 1,000,000 users, some of whom use it frequently and some who use it only on occasion. Several million dollars worth are transferred per day, but it is impossible to know for what purpose. In the last 24 hours, about 30,000 transactions occurred, or over one thousand transactions per hour. Since Bitcoins are exchanged back and forth with standard government currencies, the volume of this trading is about $100,000-$500,000 worth per day. Usage is increasing rapidly around the world, a chart of transactions can be found here: http://blockchain.info/charts/n-transactions?showDataPoints=false×pan=all&show_header=true&daysAverageString=7&scale=0&address= and more basic economic stats can be found here: http://bitcoinwatch.com/
2. What are the major advantages of bitcoin? How does bitcoin differ from other international payment systems like PayPal?
1. Zero fee to transfer money
2. Transfers are instant. No holiday or weekend delays.
3. Works globally, no territory restrictions
4. Enables the storage and transfer of wealth with zero counter-party risk (ie – you don’t have to trust anyone)
5. Excellent hedge against monetary debasement (inflation)
6. Any amount can be sent (perfect for microtransactions under a penny, for example)
7. Zero chargeback risk (this means, once a merchant receives Bitcoin, there is no risk of a payment reversal or fraud. The funds are immediately “good”)
8. Ability to move around capital controls (for example, to get money out of China or Argentina)
9. Anyone can accept and use Bitcoin.
10. Open-source, continually upgradable. Anyone can adapt and improve the software and build with it.
How does this differ from PayPal? PayPal doesn’t share any of the above advantages, except perhaps for number 2. It’s important to realize that PayPal is just a payment system for US dollars using the traditional banking infrastructure, while Bitcoin is a payment system for its own currency unit: bitcoins, and is entirely separate from the traditional banking infrastructure.
3. What are the major liabilities of bitcoin? Is it associated with any major security problems?
1. Steep learning curve
2. Requires personal responsibility (if you delete your wallet without making backups, your money is gone).
3. Value fluctuates and is relatively volatile (no guarantee that the price tomorrow will be the same as today).
Regarding security problems – this is an important point. All of the “bitcoin hacks” and security breaches to date have not been against Bitcoin itself, but rather against various companies and individuals who did not secure things properly. Consider a bank that leaves its doors and vault unlocked at night… it will find a theft has occurred in the morning. This doesn’t mean the US dollar was hacked, or that banking as an institution is necessarily at fault, but simply that one specific bank screwed up. The same is true with Bitcoin.
Frankly, it is very easy to lose your bitcoins if you are foolish, and it is very easy to never lose them if you are smart. The system requires some personal responsibility and due diligence. Because there is no company behind Bitcoin itself, there is no tech support you can call (this is the same with cash or bars of gold – if you lose them, they are gone, and nobody can get them back for you).
4. Is bitcoin commonly used to facilitate illegal transactions? Is it, as it has been characterized, a currency of crime?
Bitcoin, like any money, can be used for illegal transactions. Because of its private, secure nature, it is impossible to know the extent to which it is used for such purposes (just like we don’t know how much cash is used for illicit activity, but we all know that it happens).
Certainly the media has characterized Bitcoin as a “currency of crime”, because A) they don’t understand it and B) crime makes a good news story. Bitcoin is a highly powerful technology (like fire, or automobiles, or the internet itself) and thus it carries risk and danger. It can be used for good or evil – Bitcoin is morally agnostic, it’s just a tool. Now, to be sure, it’s a very good tool , and this means criminals will love to use it, just as good people will love to use it.
Likely for the foreseeable future, US dollar cash will remain the preferred currency of crime.
5. Could you speculate on what the future may hold for bitcoin specifically and digital currencies generally?
First it’s important to recognize that most “digital currencies” are not really digital currencies at all, because they are pegged to standard currencies. Credits in your Paypal account are really just USD-backed; they are not a unique currency themselves. Other “digital currencies” such as Facebook Credits, can be created out of nothing and without limit, so they are not serious money (ironically, the USD is more like Facebook Credits than Bitcoin, because both USD and Facebook Credits can be created out of thin air, whereas Bitcoin cannot be).
So Bitcoin is the first, what should be called “true” digital currency. It is a scarce, digital commodity with properties that make it perfect for use as money, and so it is used for this purpose.
As the world starts to realize the benefits of a real digital currency, it will become used in countless ways. It will become as ubiquitous as email (and for the very same reason – email made the cost of written communication near-zero and Bitcoin makes the cost of monetary communication near-zero).
Apa Itu Bitcoin ?
Bitcoin adalah matawang digital yang digunakan di internet dan sistem pembayaran digital yang pantas. Ia boleh dihantar dari satu individu kepada individu lain melalui website di internet tanpa melalui bank (seperti p2p) . Ini bermakna kos penghantaran wang adalah lebih mudah, cepat dan murah.
Matawang digital tunggal ini boleh digunakan di seluruh dunia oleh sesiapa saja tanpa perlu tertakluk kepada sebarang jenis matawang dunia. Matawang ini juga tidak boleh dibekukan kerana ia tidak melalui mana-mana bank.
Bagaimana Bitcoin Bermula ?
Matawang ini dicipta oleh seorang yang hanya dikenali dengan nama Satoshi Nakamoto yang dipercayai berbangsa Jepun. Ada yang menyatakan Satoshi Nakamoto adalah satu watak yang tidak wujud sebenarnya. Watak ini diwujudkan untuk melindungi individu atau kumpulan sebenar yang mewujudkan matawang ini.
Bagaimana Mendapatkan Bitcoin ?
Bitcoin ini boleh dicipta melalui satu aplikasi yang dipanggil Bitcoin Miner. Dengan membuat ‘kerja’ di situ anda akan diberikan Bitcoin. Kerja bermaksud membuat aktiviti teknikal yang memakan masa.
Bagaimana Bitcoin disimpan ?
Bitcoin disimpan dalam Bitcoin Wallet, website seperti bank online atau paypal yang biasa anda gunakan. Anda juga boleh gunakan Bitcoin Wallet ini untuk menghantar dan menerima duit. Penghantaran dan penerimaan adalah berdasarkan kepada alamat email dan password anda.
Apa Yang Boleh Dibeli dengan Bitcoin ?
Kebanyakkan kedai-kedai online di internet sudah mula untuk menerima pembayaran melalui Bitcoin. Buat masa ini anda boleh membeli games, t-shirt, alat musik, alat mainan, ebook dan jutaan barangan lain.
Berapa Nilaian Bitcoin ?
Nilai Bitcoin buat masa ini belum lagi stabil. Ia pernah turun serendah USD 2 dan pernah naik setinggi USD 6. Harga semasa Bitcoin adalah USD 14.00 (RM53). Trend semasa menunjukkan matawang ini akan menjadi stabil dalam tempoh masa beberapa tahun lagi.
Persoalan paling utama di sini, Adakah Bitcoin bakal mengubah kewangan dunia sepertimana internet / email mengubah industri penerbitan ?