Bitcoin! You have heard all about how this amazing thing that we can neither touch nor feel has been making the lucky amongst us huge money all through this year.
It’s had a fantastic year and those who have been on board have reaped tremendous benefits. This is probably why from big time investors to everyday people like you and I interest has peaked to know what the whole buzz is about.
So what is it? Is it legal? And how do I get mine?
These are some of the few questions we intend to answer in this piece, away from all the technical jargon, so we can all get a better understanding
What is Bitcoin?
So, you know the cash that’s in your wallet? When you take it out and take it to the bank for safekeeping, it mysteriously turns into mere figures on your screen, often attached to your Credit/Debit Card.
In a way, you could say your money now resides in the virtual world, although you still have the option of getting the physical cash whenever you wish to.
Bitcoin in the same vein is a virtual currency, however it is not just virtual for transitional periods, it is a fully virtual currency that is not issued by any government but that which is produced through the solving of huge mathematical puzzles by computers using specialized equipment.
It is completely decentralized and it cannot be counterfeited or compromised due to the underlying technology that was used to create it, blockchain technology.
What are the Characteristics of Bitcoin?
The fact that Bitcoin is not issued or backed by any government in the world makes it an enigma as to why it continues achieving breathtaking success in the financial markets. The reasons are not too far off as Bitcoin has certain characteristics that guarantee its value, among them are:
- Decentralization: Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency is fully decentralized and is not issued by any single entity. It works over a large network of computers spread all around the world and as such cannot be shut down by any government or single entity which guarantees its continued existence.Being a decentralized and virtual currency, Bitcoin is produced (mined), banked (in wallets), and transacted with without resorting to banks or any other established financial vehicles. Its transactions are completely borderless as Bitcoin can be sent to any country in the world in split seconds without worry about red tape.
- Psuedo-anonymity: Bitcoin is extremely attractive to its users because it is one of the most private means of conducting transactions. Any amount of Bitcoin sent from one user to the other only carries the wallet address of the sender, as no personal information such as names and IDs are required before using it.
- Speed: Bitcoin from its inception was conceptualised as the fastest means of sending money to all corners of the world without censure or delay. Its creator Satoshi Nakamoto designed Bitcoin in such a way that it is faster and cheaper to receive than Western Union.
- Immutability: The blockchain technology on which Bitcoin is built guarantees its genuineness, in that the sheer amount of computational power that is required to shut down or hack the Bitcoin blockchain cannot be summoned by any single entity or government anywhere in the world. This means any Bitcoin you receive or send is completely genuine and cannot be counterfeited like fiat currency.
- Inflation-proof: One of the biggest things that ensures Bitcoin’s value keeps rising is that it has a finite supply, which is set at 21,000,000 coins. This gives it similar characteristics to gold and other precious metals, as its supply nears its end, its price go further up.
Is it Legal to Own Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a new world order and as of yet there is no country in the world with any comprehensive legal framework to handle it or the cryptocurrency world in general.
Most governments around the world are silent about it so it is safe to say that, so far, it’s legal, as no government or international body has declared its use as illegal.
Moreover, it’s now becoming somewhat of a mainstream currency; it has a total market cap of over $160 billion with some high profile investors. As such, it is highly unlikely to be banned, even in the future.
How much is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin has no fixed price, as it fluctuates up and down like every other financial instrument. Prices are highly volatile and can go swing up and down with high variations. But on the whole its appreciation is historically greater than its depreciation. Case in point is that within 2017 alone it has multiplied in value nearly 10x.
How do I Get Bitcoin?
There are two broad ways to acquire Bitcoin. One is through “mining” which is a long, technical and highly capital intensive.
Or you could simply purchase any amount you need through what is known as cryptocurrency exchanges. These are established companies that deal solely in the buying and selling of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies around the world.
How do I Store my Bitcoin?
Once you are able to buy from an exchange, it is advisable to have a wallet at hand with which you will save your holdings. The best wallet you can have is one that is big on security and completely offline to keep it safe from thieves.
There are many reputable software wallets that you can easily store on your PC, but if you have a considerable amount of Bitcoin, it is advised that you should instead opt for a highly secure hardware wallet or paper wallet.
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BTC Wallet: 1LyutLaQ3sufbFcETue6kYbQHqZvYbvAD9
ETH ERC20 Wallet: 0xca0dd607339edee021fb95e4a63fc21f13f4de2f
LTC Wallet: LaPhoXcybZ3hHNs7jFeBo28uYXpYZe45w8
DASH Wallet: XtHavbmxb6gQixkBKXq2igQ2GhLUjLCh88
DOGE Wallet: DD2PN95XBgUvwRf5jbGV78d6nWEgVwjm4L
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