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What is bitcoin?

Bitcoin (BTC) is the first decentralized digital currency, referred to by many as the internet of money. The first crypto currency adopted and known to millions, is becoming widely accepted as a store of value with properties similar to gold.

Bitcoin is “mined” using CPU power that releases new coins as well as updates the blockchain ledger for transactions made every 10 minutes. There is a limited supply of 21 million coins available to ensure digital scarcity, with 80% of the total supply being mined already in early 2018.

The technology is open source, so anyone can view or write code and submit suggestions to the Bitcoin Improvement Proposals that the Core Developers implement.

Who invented bitcoin?

An anonymous individual using the online name Satoshi Nakamoto is credited with creating the protocol and whitepaper for the technology in 2009. The project was taken over in 2011, by the bitcoin core team, which involves many volunteer developers worldwide to secure the network.

What is bitcoin used for?

1. A store of value

Rather than mining, storing and transferring large amounts of gold, bitcoin reproduces aspects of mining using technology and electricity. The finite supply of 21 million, creates scarcity within the protocol along with proof of work to ensure no double spending occurs.

Countries like Venezuela, India, Argentina, Greece, Russia, Brazil and Portugal have had enough “financial crisis” warnings, that citizens want to hold a currency, other than their national currency.

With 2 billion people in the world still unbanked, bitcoin is seen by many as a “better than nothing” solution for many.

2. Cheaper Foreign Exchange Transactions

Bitcoin sold for dollars in America can be sold for Euros in Europe, Pounds in England, Yuan in China and Rupees in India. Banks and foreign exchange services change exorbitant fee’s to convert currency. Lowering and removing some of the fee’s financial institutions charge for exchanging currencies would save consumers worldwide billions of dollars.

3. Sending Payments with Lower Fees

Wires and bank draft fee’s will be lowered or removed as more people adopt digital payments using decentralized systems. Sending money home through Western Union, Moneygram or services similar can cost 7% of more in fee’s. Crypto currency and new financial startups should make these fee’s extremely low for consumers in the future.

4. Security

Banks are the biggest targets for hackers. The data they hold on all of their customers is valuable enough for hackers to always continue attacking these institutions. If your data is taken from one of these institutions, they aren’t liable or at fault because you gave them the information. Many people would rather avoid trusting third parties with their personal data and money.

5. Buying goods and services

Companies accepting bitcoin are always increasing, Microsoft, Reddit, CheapAir, Namecheap, Expedia, Gyft, Virgin Galactic, Zynga and pizzaforcoins currently accept bitcoin.

Bitcoin credit cards allow you to buy things like a normal credit card. Your bitcoin is loaded into a wallet, when you swipe to purchase anything the service removes the amount from your bitcoin wallet with the card.

6. Gambling and Drugs.

Obviously.

How can I mine bitcoin?

A decent bitcoin mining setup will cost a few thousand dollars to start and the competition is big in mining. Most miners will join a mining pool as there are many miners in these groups with other mining rigs to increase the profitability mining.

Where can I buy bitcoin?

Exchanges to buy bitcoin are the most common places beginners purchase their first bitcoins (or fractions of bitcoins). Residents of the USA and other countries “regulating” Bitcoin with strict KYC (know your customer) and AML (anti-money laundering) regulations have increasingly used anonymous exchanges.

Being paid in BTC is common and not just for techs and developers. Designers, traders, support and content creators are always finding or offering jobs on reddit.

What is the difference between bitcoin, altcoins (crypto currencies) and ICO’s?

Bitcoin is the first crypto currency, that is still used as currency or a store of value, by people around the world.

After the initial success of bitcoin, altcoins started launching as alternative use cases with “similar” principles to the bitcoin protocol. Some coins or tokens attempt to do something new and better than bitcoin, some attempt to offer uses bitcoin doesn’t have. Most are complete scams.

With an altcoin like Ethereum, the ability to use and create smart contracts was one of the main innovations holders of ether see value in. The actual technology and development team are completely separate between bitcoin and ethereum projects. Smart contracts on ethereum allow for ICO’s (initial coin offerings) to be created by anyone.

An ICO will usually be a token on the ethereum blockchain that can be stored in an ether wallet under the token symbol once created. The ICO, much like an IPO of a public company, is considered investing in that technology and team to “create something.” Whether that team and technology will be valued by the wild west “market” that crypto traders buy and sell altcoins on, is anybodies guess.

This is an unregulated version of stocks (if anything) and there are many groups that want to “sell” believers on this new technology they are going to create. This is why we cover a few altcoins but our heart and money is with bitcoin.

I’m obsessed with bitcoin and want to completely nerd out on everything, what should I check out?

 

Joe Rogan Podcast with Andreas Antonopoulos

A must watch for anyone interested in crypto currencies.

Tone Vays and Boxmining
Movies

Banking on Bitcoin

The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin

Books

The Internet of Money

Introduction to bitcoin for crypto enthusiasts to gain a better understanding of the technology and use cases.

Mastering Bitcoin
For the programmers that want to learn about the technology behind bitcoin.

Digital Gold

The Truth Machine: The blockchain and the future of everything

YouTube Channels

Andreas Antanopolis
Yoda

Tone Vays
Former wall street trader. His predictions on bitcoin price changes, for the last few years, are eerily accurate for an extremely volatile asset

Crypto Daily
Sometimes he says funny crypto things, sometimes he doesn’t. Nobodies perfect.

Doug Polk Crypto
Professional poker player and crypto enthusiast that won’t even gamble on TRON

Crypto Gambling covers bitcoin, altcoin and trading discussions for people new to crypto currencies. Along with crypto wallets, gambling in different countries and bitcoin exchanges in different countries.

This site is intended for people over the age of 18 that never gamble what they can’t afford to lose.