What Is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is an open source network based digital currency. The code with which the software is run can be read and audited by anyone technically capable of understanding it. The software builds incentive structures so that those who provide cryptographic proof of security for the network, and thus the integrity of the monetary system, are rewarded with transaction fees and the issuance of new monetary units, bitcoins. It is fully peer to peer, no one has authority over anyone else and there is no single point of failure.
Why Do I Care?
Bitcoin is better money. There will only ever exist 21 million of them, they are scarce. You can send a few dollars worth of bitcoin or a few billion dollars worth of bitcoin for less than a dollar anywhere in the world anytime of day and the transaction is 100% settled and irreversible in about an hour. No one can freeze your wallet or seize your money without your secret key. Bitcoin is divisible, you can divide a bitcoin into 100 million pieces, you do not have to buy an entire bitcoin, you may convert any amount of funds. Bitcoin does not require personal information. You can open a wallet, receive bitcoin and send bitcoin without so much as a user name, there is no risk of identity theft. Break your phone, lose your phone? Restore your bitcoin to another device with nothing more than your 12 or 24 word pass phrase, a secret that only you have access to.
Yeah But Its Volatile And They’re Really Expensive
Bitcoin started 8 years ago as an anonymous whitepaper on the internet and has since grown into an 80 billion dollar economy comprised of millions of actors, the rate of speed at which this technology is progressing is astonishing, stability will come as the technology matures. In time much of the world’s wealth will come to be expressed through bitcoin and other similar technologies. When 21 million bitcoin need to account for all the goods and services of a thriving world economy the price of a single bitcoin will need to be far greater than it is today. This may be several decades of adoption and development from happening but much like the internet the technology will come and the impact will be great. These are still the early days, you have not missed the boat, bitcoin has a long future ahead of it and you have the chance to be an early adopter of a technology that will reshape how society is governed.
Freedom is Dangerous And Requires Responsibility
That money you have in the bank is not yours it is the bank’s, they let you play with it when things are going smoothly. When things are not going smoothly it is their money and the bank is closed until a decision about what to do can be reached and then maybe you can play with some of it again but maybe not all of it.
If you wish to avoid such situations and own your own money, you must take the full responsibility of keeping it safe from thieves and loss. You need to be the one to make sure the website you’re sending your money to is legit. You need to keep your backup key safe and secure. And you need to be the one to educate yourself about the technology and how it works. Bitcoin is an evolution in self governance it requires individual responsibility.
Don’t Drug Dealers and Terrorists Use It?
Criminals are often early adopters of new technologies, but where would we be today if we ignored the potential benefits to the rest of us simply because of a few bad actors. Bitcoin and other crypto technology stand to bring about a wave of financial inclusion which will leap frog billions of the world’s poor into a modern financial ecosystem with access to a global supply of capital. Bitcoin will bring billions out of abject poverty, it should not be shunned.
How Do I Get Them?
You can connect your online bank account to an exchange like Coinbase, Gemini, or Kraken. You can buy them anonymously for cash in your area by trading with individuals directly on LocalBitcoins.com. You can find Bitcoin ATMs located all over the world. You can earn them by charging for your goods and services in a decentralized online marketplace like Open Bazaar. You could put your computer to work and help provide the computational effort that secures the network in a process called mining.
Where Can I Learn More?
Search the internet. Check out Bitcointalk.org. Go to YouTube and search for Andreas Antonopolous or the World Crypto Network. Buy a book. Read the crypto news at Cointelegraph or The Merkle. Watch a Bitcoin documentary. Download and explore a Bitcoin wallet on your phone. Ask someone else if they know anything about Bitcoin. Learn as much as you can about this technology, don’t underestimate the impact this will have on your future.
Pass this paper around, if you like it and you want to send me a tip, I’d appreciate it, Check out my website at CharlesLaKamp.com for more info about me or my Bitcoin address. You can also email me at CharlesLakamp@gmail.com and ask a question or arrange for tutoring. Thanks again.