What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a revolutionary, fast and cheap way to transfer money or make payments all over the internet. Just like email, you can send bitcoins directly to the person you want to pay. For this reason Bitcoin is called a peer-to-peer currency and it is independent of national borders or any (central) banks. Unlike traditional currencies, Bitcoin cannot be indefinitely created as it has a limited number of units. This makes Bitcoin very similar to gold or silver.
Who created Bitcoin?
In 2008, the year of the beginning of the financial crisis, Satoshi Nakamoto (probably a pseudonym) published a paper explaining a new technology enabling the transfer of value from computer A to computer B in a safe and irreversible way. Early 2009 he distributed the first software for a digital currency easy to transfer all over the web.
Who prints Bitcoin?
Nobody prints bitcoin. Bitcoin is a digital currency that has to be mined by powerful computers by means of complex algorithms. In this way, bitcoin is independent from any central bank.
Why should I use Bitcoin?
Empowering your financial freedom - Bitcoin is all yours, you don't need approval of any kind to use it or keep it. You don't even need a bank account, just a smart phone. You can send your bitcoin wherever you want without asking any kind of permission. Bitcoin transactions have a high level of privacy because all you need to know for a Bitcoin transaction is the wallet address you want to send bitcoin to. If this is not enough for you, just keep reading...
Investment – Some people find investing in Bitcoin a good idea. The total number of bitcoins that can be mined is a fixed number. This means no inflationary risk for the value of your bitcoin. However, the Bitcoin market is a true open market and the value of bitcoin is determined by demand and supply and just like the value of any other good traded on exchanges it could suddenly drop.
Fast and cheap transactions all over the world – If you own a web shop it could be a good idea to accept bitcoins as payment method. In this way you can reach a much larger number of users, because everyone on the Internet can easily pay you in bitcoin. Also, you can accept bitcoin if you are a “brick and mortar” shop. In this way you offer an alternative way of paying that can be used by everyone with a phone in his pocket. Many shops preceded you and some cities are even famous for the many retailers accepting bitcoins.
Help create a better world – Using Bitcoin contributes to a better world. Many people around the world don't have access to traditional financial infrastructures. People in rural areas of developing countries simply don't have a bank where they live. But even in rich countries the lack of credit history for example, can make it difficult for someone to receive financial support. The access to Bitcoin infrastructure is very simple: just an internet connection. In this way crowd funding projects are easily supported and microcredit can target directly individuals in need.
Is it safe to use Bitcoin?
Bitcoin transactions respect your privacy. You don't need to send your personal information all over the web like with credit cards. That makes identity theft much more difficult and Bitcoin transactions much safer. However, Bitcoin transactions are irreversible. So make sure to send your bitcoin to the right Bitcoin address.
Who owns Bitcoin?
You are the only owner of your bitcoin. This ownership is published and settled on the blockchain. The blockchain is a distributed public ledger on the internet that keeps all the Bitcoin transactions listed. In this way double spending is prevented and you don't need a third party (for example a bank) to qualify your transactions as valid. With Bitcoin you are your own bank.
I really want to use Bitcoin, but are they legal?
Yes, they are, at least in most countries. But they are not a so called legal tender. That means that you cannot pay your taxes with bitcoin and you still have to change them in a legal tender like for example your national currency to do so (same as for gold).
Start using Bitcoin and empower your financial freedom!