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Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin

Author: Melissa Cohen
Date: 2017-07-04
With Bitcoin taking the world by storm, we took a look at what this phenomenon actually is and why it has gained so much traction.
So, you might be wondering what this thing called Bitcoin is that everyone has been raving about. Let's unpack it: it is a digital payment method that can be used by anyone around the world. Bitcoin was created by an anonymous during 2008, using the alias “Satashi Nakamoto”. There is no tangible paper money that is needed for Bitcoin – this is all done online. So, aside from the fidget spinners and gimmicky gadgets encompassing our already jam-packed lives, if you want to sound ‘smart’ and serious, use the term Bitcoin and you are sure to start a stir. Here is a clear, human-friendly user guide to ensure that you know what you are talking about when you venture into the popular, yet unknown world of the Bitcoin.

Basic Bits About Bitcoin 

Here we look at some interesting/quirky facts that you need to know:
  1. The cool thing about Bitcoin is that there are no intermediaries or ‘middlemen’. This means that you can send money directly to the receiver of choice without having to pay exorbitant bank charges and stand in long queues.
  2. This is immediate. Yes, it will reflect on both Bitcoin wallets immediately. There is no delay even if you are transferring money across the world.
  3. Get this, people- this is the first decentralised currency ever created! This means that no one is controlling your Bitcoin. You are the boss of your transactions and your information will remain private and anonymous.
  4. Like in real life existence on earth you keep your money and cards in a wallet, so too do you keep your Bitcoins in a wallet. This wallet, however, is slightly different as this is a digital wallet but it does the same thing. You are able to access your wallet at any time to check how much Bitcoin ‘moolah’ you have to play with.
  5. No fees, say what? Yes, there are no fees or service charges involved in the transactions. This means that you are saving yourself some unnecessary expenses.

But Why Buy Bitcoin?

Well,  this is a perfect way to perform transactions to people or companies all over the world minus the extra hassles and expense. Because this is a peer-to-peer transaction platform, it is quick and easy to use. All you need is either a Smartphone device or a computer and of course the internet. With one click of a button, you can buy and sell Bitcoins to people all over the world.

How Much Is A Bitcoin?

Because Bitcoin is a universal currency, it fluctuates depending on various economic factors. In South Africa, the price of a Bitcoin is currently between R32 000- R35 000. This might sound like a lot of money to spend on one ‘coin’; however, this is broken up into smaller units that can be purchased. Bitcoins can be broken into three smaller units of worth:
  • Millibitcoin – equal to one thousandth of a Bitcoin
  • Microbitcoin – one millionth of a Bitcoin
  • Satashi- one-hundredth millionth
I know this may seem really confusing. All you need to know is that you don’t have to buy one Bitcoin at a time; you can purchase a smaller portion of a Bitcoin at a time.

Is It Worth Investing In?

Like most trends, they run until their sell-by date and that is what is said to possibly happen with Bitcoin. Like the stock markets, however, it’s all a gamble. As more people buy into the Bitcoin concept the higher the value of the Bitcoin, however, this could change at any point in time but there is an opportunity for growth if you are prepared to take a risk. According to a recent Washington Post article, in 2010 $100 of Bitcoin is now currently worth a staggering $75 million today. The article further mentions that one Bitcoin just seven years ago used to cost $0.003 and now in 2017, it would cost you $2 200 for the same Bitcoin. So if you are interested in possibly investing in Bitcoin, now would be the best time. The popularity in this new currency is soaring and the purchase price is rapidly rising.
Are you new to investing? We have some super handy tips for you to follow 

How To Buy A Bitcoin?

As mentioned before, all you need is access to the internet and a digital device and you are good to go. There are various Bitcoin apps that you can download to create your own digital wallet. Bitcoinzar is a good website to try out as it provides you with user-friendly tips on how to start your Bitcoin account. If you are a tech junkie or an investment mogul or even want to try your hand at good dinner table banter- why not try out Bitcoin and decide for yourself. Check out this video for even more information.  
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