Bitcoin is the most popular type of virtual currency. It has real value and can be exchanged for Canadian dollars, U.S. dollars, British pounds or any other type of physical currency through online options.
Here are some facts about this cryptocurrency:
Who invented it?
The creator or creators call themselves Satoshi Nakamoto.
Who controls it?
There is no government or single entity that controls this currency.
How many are there?
There are exactly 21,000,000 coins. Without a limit, this cryptocurrency would be devalued and rendered worthless. By July, 2017, 16.4M coins were in circulation.
What is its value?
The value is what the collective “we” say it is. The more popular Bitcoin gets as a type of currency for trading real goods and services, the more value will be placed on each individual Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s value multiplied 879,999 times from 2010 to 2017. Its value increased by 162% in 2017 alone.
Who accepts Bitcoin payments?
A variety of merchants accept this form of payment; both physical and online stores. Some of those online merchants include Microsoft, Dell, Expedia, Overstock, Newegg.
How does it work?
Transactions are completely transparent. Details (other than personal data) about each transaction can be seen on what is called the “blockchain”. That’s why users of Bitcoin trust this currency. Block chain technology allows digital information to be distributed but not copied. It’s like a spreadsheet duplicated across a network of computers thousands of times. This network then regularly updates this spreadsheet as transactions happen. Since this data isn’t stored in any one location, the records are public and easily verifiable. This data is hosted simultaneously by millions of computers and is accessible to anyone on the Internet. You don’t need to understand how blockchain works to us it, however, a basic knowledge doesn’t hurt.
What are the rules on payments and refunds?
Refunds are not possible with Bitcoin transactions so one should be very careful when making a payment. Some have lost huge sums of Bitcoin currency by making payment errors. On the flip side, it isn’t possible to be billed twice for a transaction so no worries about being overcharged in that manner. When transferring funds, transaction fees are small to non-existent and the Bitcoin currency is available almost immediately.
Where is it stored?
When you sign up with Bitcoin, a Bitcoin digital wallet is established. You can log into your wallet anytime and see your balance. It’s impossible for anyone to take money from your digital wallet unless you transfer it to them. If, however, you lose your wallet, it’s lost forever. Despite the fact that your Bitcoins may still exist (recorded on the blockchain), without your unique Bitcoin keys from your wallet you’re no longer able to access these funds, nor can anyone else.
For another explanation of how this currency works, see this YouTube video.