Funny money: Is bitcoin the new global currency?

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Is bitcoin the new global currency?

What is bitcoin?

There are no coins and no notes with this currency. You won’t find a bank for it either because bitcoin cryptocurrency is money for the internet.

Before you start raising those eyebrows, bitcoin is recognised as a legal currency (in most countries), just without any physical existence, and

uses encryption to exchange without the existence of a centralised bank, or control of a government.

Where did it come from?

Bitcoin has already been used for transactions since its release in 2009. Created by Satoshi Nakamoto, his conception was initially introduced in his research paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” in 2008.

How do I get some?

There are many online marketplaces to buy bitcoin.

Before you buy you’ll need to have a bitcoin wallet which is basically a bank account for users. If you’re looking for something a bit more physical, the world’s first ever permanent bitcoin ATM launched at a coffee shop in Vancouver.

Where can I use it?

Bitcoin is currently legal in the UK but whether it will ever be adopted by the masses is another question.

In the meantime you’ll only be able to spend your money with certain retailers. Mostly online and in London, trying to pay with bitcoins at your local supermarket probably isn’t going to work.

So what’s all the fuss about?

The bitcoin isn’t without its controversy though and it’s still a very grey area in the digital world. It’s often used on the black market.

For illegal transactions and tax evasion, payments are impossible to block and wallets can’t be frozen.

This has all meant a huge headache for the likes of the FBI who are in a constant battle with bitcoin’s lack of restriction and regulation.

Although bitcoin transactions can be viewed by the public address (around 30 characters of numbers and letters) they reveal no identifying information which has meant bitcoin being recognised as an “anonymous currency”. Bitcoin isn’t slowing down either and boasts, “Short of turning off the entire world’s internet, and keeping it turned off, the bitcoin network is unstoppable and uncensorable.”

Should I buy it?

Maybe hang off before buying bitcoin right now. It’ll also cost you around £950.00 to buy one bitcoin and only last week bitcoin lost a fifth of its value.