What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency. You can pay with it in stationary stores, websites or make transfers. Bitcoin, however, differs from the classic currencies you know. Advanced mathematics (i.e. cryptography) secures every transaction in Bitcoin. This ensures that they cannot be counterfeited, and the currency itself is completely protected against theft - unless, of course, the person who owns Bitcoins follows standard security procedures (e.g. does not disclose the private key to third parties).
The Bitcoin transaction registry is called Blockchain. It is a collection of information about each transfer in this cryptocurrency. Thanks to it, you can track the status of your transfer and the recipient cannot deny that they did not receive the funds.
Bitcoin is partially anonymous. You cannot check who owns the wallet, but you can find out how much money has been transferred and to which address. You can also check how many funds are in a given wallet. Such wallets are not assigned to any specific person. Opening a wallet does not require any documents or signatures on contracts - unlike bank accounts. All you need is access to the network.
If you lose the key to your wallet, the funds accumulated on it will simply be lost - no one will be able to recover them. Therefore, remember to keep access to your wallet in a safe place.
Why is it worth being interested in Bitcoin?
First of all, Bitcoin enables fast and cheap international transfers. This is due to decentralization - that is, the lack of an issuer and payment intermediaries. When paying with Bitcoin, you don't have to worry about bank fees or delays in processing transactions. Therefore, Bitcoin has a chance to become the successor of classic fiat currencies both in terms of payments and transfers between users.
Bitcoin can be called "the cash of our time" because it works on a similar principle - it allows payments without intermediaries. The difference is online transactions, which allows you to send funds to anywhere in the world with access to the Internet. Such transfers are very quick - usually they take up to 15 minutes.
Where does the value of bitcoin come from?
Bitcoin's value is expressed in terms of computing power to solve math problems. People who share their computers to process these problems are called miners. They are rewarded in cryptocurrency for sharing the power of their computers.
How Bitcoin was born
The Bitcoin concept appeared in 2008, and in 2009, the project of an anonymous creator under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto saw the light of day. Initially, Bitcoins were worth little - just a few cents. Back then, no one knew what kind of revolution the cryptocurrency would trigger. Today we know that it was a breakthrough in the financial world.
Can Bitcoin replace other currencies?
Definitely yes. Bitcoin is faster, cheaper and available globally without middlemen and high commission. Therefore, it is an ideal means of payment. Its value is constantly growing, and temporary changes in the rate allow you to earn through speculation. Therefore, Bitcoin enables both long-term and short-term investments. This is the money of the future!
Controversy around cryptocurrencies
In theory, using bitcoin is completely innocent and should be legal. In practice, it can be different. The first point of contention is the status of cryptocurrencies. Users treat them like regular digital money. Importantly, bitcoin can also have a symbolic, physical form - e.g. in the form of a token or a QR code printed on a piece of paper, which, after scanning, allows you to transfer the value assigned to it to the selected wallet.
From a legal point of view, however, it is not a means of payment and, for example, according to the interpretation of the SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission), cryptocurrencies are a type of securities, and in Germany they are considered a notional unit of account. A different position is presented, for example, by the Chinese authorities trying to ban cryptocurrency trading.
It is worth emphasizing that bitcoin is often presented as an alternative not only to traditional money, but also to the banking system. This is not an accurate opinion - banks around the world are becoming convinced of the technology behind cryptocurrencies.
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