Bitcoin technology was introduced on the Internet about eight years ago, but many people are still not aware of it. If people have heard of it, then many of them do not understand it enough to get involved with it. What with the scare tactics of the government, banks, and other financial institutions that stand to be impacted by it, there is even a negative cloud associated with Bitcoin.
I encourage you to do your own research and find out the truth. Forbes had an article that goes into some of the basics about Bitcoin that are easily understood and takes some of the mystery out of the technology.
This is a disruptive technology that is just taking off with no end in sight.
Put simply, Bitcoin is simultaneously a cryptographic protocol and a virtual currency which gives consumers a way to exchange money for free or a nominal fee. It’s a “digital crypto-currency.” As a transfer protocol, it inherently operates as a money transfer medium to send bitcoin from user to user without the need of a third party intermediary. Digital, meaning it only exists in a digital format and there are no tangible properties to this money, just like e-mails, which are digitals letters. Crypto meaning it’s secured by cryptography, making it improbable for hackers to spend bitcoin from someone else’s wallet. And it’s a type of currency, valued in units of bitcoin which is divisible, like the US dollar or euro into subunits (like pennies.)
I like the email analogy Nicholas Cary, CEO of Blockchain.info gave me:
“People everyday of their lives use email, they probably have no idea how it works under the covers, but they use it because it’s simple, free, easy, and allows them to send messages anywhere in the world for free. It’s the same thing with Bitcoin, send money anywhere in the world for free.”
If you can operate a smartphone, bitcoin is easier to use than a credit or debit card.
They go on to explain why developers, entrepreneurs, investors, and everyday people are flocking to Bitcoin, and maybe why you should as well.
Bitcoin represents a very small fraction of overall transactions, but it has the potential to completely change the way the world banks. Bitcoin is a disruptive technology that will “liberate the poor of the world” by offering banking services in emerging markets where banks are few, or may not even exist at all. Because Bitcoin is a global technology it can go anywhere regardless of geography. He says Bitcoin could give people in developing countries the ability to sell their products and services regardless of whether they have access to a bank or not, via mobile payment systems. And it turns out that in emerging markets a lot more people have cell phones than bank accounts.
The invention of the Internet, railroads, cars and practically all forms of disruptive technology went through periods of intense scrutiny from skeptics and competitors. However, these all turned out to be beautiful inventions that increased the standard of living for all. As so many aspects of our lives are migrating online including communications, commerce and government functions, it’s natural for currency to follow.
If you are not familiar with Bitcoin, I challenge you to try it. Coinbase is a recommended “exchange” where you can buy Bitcoin. Click here to check it out and join the Bitcoin revolution.
Thanks to www.forbes.com for a great educational article.