According to the Bitcoin.org website, Bitcoin is a digital currency created in 2009 by one – or several – people under the alias of Satoshi Nakamoto. Although in 2016 the Australian businessman Craig Steven Wright claimed to be the creator of the digital currency, he did not present evidence to prove it, so the true identity of the creator of bitcoin is unknown so far.
Bitcoin is considered a currency like the dollar or the peso, and uses a Peer to Peer or P2P protocol for its acronym in English. It is a completely virtual currency, which makes it ideal for transactions and international payments, since it is not tied to any country or regulatory body.
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As of December 19, 2017, the current value of a bitcoin was higher than US $ 16,500, a value that represents one of its highest points since it was created in 2009 and was valued at a quarter of a cent of the US dollar. Its value is determined by the price that people are willing to pay. However, for February, the value fell to US $ 6,424.
With this currency there are no charges for transfer, since it is not regulated by a bank or government. For this reason in transactions in bitcoin there are no intermediaries. One of the most attractive features of bitcoin is the anonymity surrounding this currency, since unlike bank accounts and other payment platforms, bitcoin and transactions in this currency are not related to the user’s identity. The characteristics of this cryptocurrency (virtual currency) make it ideal for carrying out illicit transactions, as it was in the case of the already closed Silk Road website that was used to buy illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin. However, the anonymity of bitcoin is not entirely unbreakable since there are several possibilities to track transactions.
How to get bitcoin?
Bitcoins can be obtained as payment for services or goods. They can also be purchased or exchanged on websites that specialize in the sale and exchange of this currency. One of the most popular websites for obtaining bitcoins is Coinbase, in which you can buy bitcoins using dollars and other currencies. This site can also be used to sell bitcoins.
Another alternative to obtain bitcoins is through what is known as bitcoin mining. According to Bitcoin.org, this modality consists of solving mathematical problems in exchange for bitcoin. Mining is fundamental since miners use their computers to approve bitcoin transactions and keep the bitcoin network secure. Anyone can become a miner but must have specialized software and hardware. The miners are a group of people who are dedicated to process transactions and in exchange for this work they receive bitcoin. During mining new bitcoin is created.
If you prefer to leave your house to get bitcoins you can go to the nearest bitcoin ATM.
Keep in mind that this currency has a limit of 21 million bitcoins, as determined by its creator. This means that bitcoin is a limited currency that does not take into account the number of users.
Where to use bitcoin?
Once you have bitcoin, you can use it to buy on the Internet or you can store it in your wallet. A wallet is a database that you can store on your phone, computer or tablet. There are several mobile applications that you can download and use as a purse, but experts advise using a wallet that is not online to avoid being hacked. Some of the applications for making payments using bitcoin are BitPay and Bitcoin Checkout.
The number of companies and services that accept this currency as a form of payment has been growing in recent years. For example, Microsoft allows you to buy mobile applications, games and digital content for Windows and Xbox with bitcoins. Dell, Expedia and WordPress also accept this digital currency.
Although Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency available, it is the most popular and the one that continues to give a lot of talk not only because it is preferred by hackers but also because of its attractive value.