Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years or so, you’ve most likely heard about Bitcoins. Still, there remains a prevailing misunderstanding and general confusion as to what, exactly, Bitcoins are and why we should use them (even the official website quips “No idea what’s going on?” as you arrive onsite). Fear not – we’re here to explain in simple terms more about Bitcoins and where they might potentially take us in the future.
Where do Bitcoins come from?
Bitcoins are essentially a completely digitalized currency. They are not supported by any central government or bank. Bitcoin transactions take place directly between users, and can be exchanged – as normal currency can be – for goods and services. They were created back in 2009 anonymously, and are produced and controlled largely through complex computer algorithms. Due to these algorithms, currency inflation is always avoided.
Why would you use Bitcoin?
Well, there are several reasons why digitalized currency is enticing. First of all, the money belongs to you and you alone. You don’t have to pay any additional bank fees – bitcoins are person to person, with no intermediate. This also means that governments lose control of the currency, which some believe would lead to a more free market. Another appeal of trading in bitcoin is that it is incredibly safe – there are no chances of your details being stolen and you never have to transfer sensitive information during a transaction. In fact, transactions are completely anonymous.
Where is Bitcoin popular?
Bitcoin is becoming increasingly popular globally. Certain areas of the world are particularly open to bitcoin. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Silicon Valley boasts the highest number of Bitcoin ATMs in the world. The Nordic countries – Sweden, Denmark, and Finland – are all in favour of completely eliminating cash currency, and so have seen an upsurge in demand for Bitcoin. There are also some global brands who now accept bitcoins as currency, such as Microsoft, Subway, and OKCupid. Particularly for solely online sites, bitcoins could be a payment option. For online casinos, bitcoin is a viable option which suits both player and casinos due to the absence of big bank charges and no chance of large transactions being blocked. You can already find casinos that accept bitcoins or some that operate mostly as a bitcoin online casino.
For now, Bitcoin still remains somewhat controversial – governments mainly disapprove of its anonymity and inability to control it. However, it is no doubt gaining momentum – in 2017 it is now worth 2000 USD per coin. The question will be, if Bitcoin – and other cryptocurrencies – continue to persist, what will the future of trading and banking look like? The traditional Bank as we know it will certainly alter. It is still too early to tell, but it seems that digitalized currency will no doubt play a part in how we buy and sell goods.
Photograph by Kaufdex