Finance and accounting

What is Bitcoin? How can I use Bitcoin?

Asked by Sarah Irwin SME Community Director at SavvySME

I have heard stories about Bitcoin and that some business owners use and accept it as currency. What is Bitcoin? How do I get Bitcoin? Also, how do you use it? Is there a Bitcoin credit card number?

4 Answers viewed 238 times with 2 subscribers

Jef Lippiatt Owner at Startup Chucktown
Voted by: Sarah Irwin

I won't and maybe can't answer this in extreme detail, but Bitcoin is a digital currency. It is build on a technology called "blockchain". The idea is that it is supposed to be very secure. You can either get Bitcoins by mining the blockchain (have multiple and powerful computers processing the blockchain code) or by accepting them as payment. Based on the current "value" of 1 single Bitcoin a transaction may own need to transfer part of a Bitcoin. I don't know if there is a Bitcoin credit/debit card, but there are companies where you can store your Bitcoins.

I hope that helps, but if not hopefully someone will jump in with a more complete explanation.

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Brad Lyons at Rodcha
Voted by: Sarah Irwin

Bitcoin was and still is the currency used on the silk road (Darknet). It is used because people shopping on the silk road are not buying a new pair of shoes. They are buying weapons, drugs, kids and just about anything you can imagine.

Bitcoin was the only currency accepted as it offered a layer of protection. When the FBI closed down the silk rd for the 3rd time they also claimed bitcoin. Now bitcoin is floating on the market it has become more popular.

Their are multiple competitors out there with their own version of digital currency like Bitcoin. Is there any real value in added bitcoin as a payment option. That really depends if you have any value in bitcoin yourself. Some companies will accept bitcoin as they trade in bitcoin in other areas.

Should you accept bitcoin? Comes down to your personal preference. Do you want to invest your money in bitcoin? Your making an investment, you will not be able to use Bitcoin unless you have suppliers that accept it. Think of it as "Will you accept payments in Euro". How much will it cost to convert payments from Euro to AUD. Can you keep payments in Euro and use that currency to pay suppliers.

I only accept payments in currencies that I can easily use. Bitcoin is just another currencies with a dark past and some would say a questionable present.

So if you only trade in AUD, only accept AUD. If you also trade in USD, accept payments in USD. Same for Bitcoin.

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Voted by: Sarah Irwin

Bitcon a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

Bitcoin can be used to buy things electronically. In that sense, it’s like conventional dollars, euros, or yen, which are also traded digitally.
However, bitcoin’s most important characteristic, and the thing that makes it different to conventional money, is that it is decentralized. No single institution controls the bitcoin network. This puts some people at ease, because it means that a large bank can’t control their money.

Get bitcoins. You can get bitcoins by accepting them as a payment for goods and services or by buying them from a friend or someone near you. You can also buy them directly from an exchange with your bank account.

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They are many similar digital currencies, however bitcoin seems to be the most well known of them all.

It is a more an underground digital currency. With that said its transactions underpin a growing economy which can't be ignored either.

As mentioned, most everyday businesses do not understand bitcoin, so are hesitant to offer it as a payment option. Some that do have opened up to new / wider markets they never previously had.

Presently it is hear to stay, no one can predict where it is truly heading, and equally the value can turn to dust overnight or boom significantly like any other traded commodity.

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