Bitcoin is a digital money that uses encryption to secure transactions and control the creation of new units with the help of blockchain technology. It was the first ever “cryptocurrency" designed by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 as a decentralised alternative for fiat currency with the aim to be independent of the centralized banks and government systems.
Bitcoin evangelists believe fiat currency (dollar, euro, Yen etc) have an unlimited supply and for that reason, the central bank can always print as many as they want. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has a limited supply of 21 million coins which can be obtained either by buying Bitcoin on exchanges or by mining Bitcoin with the use of personal computers and other heavy hardware. BTC, like every other asset, is backed by the force of demand and supply.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency evangelists believe central banks should not be in the position to tell citizens when and how to use their money. According to them, this coin is the way forward as transactions are done anonymously without a 3rd party being able to trace or block their transactions.
There are currently at least 3 ways to own Bitcoins. It could be done via the use of a cryptocurrency exchange, directly via marketplaces or by exchanging goods and services for BTC. Most cryptocurrency exchanges accept fiat, credit or debit cards and to help fulfil the anonymous purpose of its creation, some virtual currency exchanges don’t require you to share sensitive information such as identification or location. Here are 3 ways to own some of this virtual currency.
This is the most popular ways to buy or own this virtual currency. There are hundreds of cryptocurrency exchanges around the world with some countries hosting dozens. Most popular crypto exchanges include; Coinbase, Bitfinex and Coincheck. After creating an account on the crypto exchange of your choice, trading can commence within a couple of minutes to days depending on how long the verification process takes. For the purchase of BTC in most exchanges, Fiat currency is required.
These marketplaces are other online platforms where BTC can either be swapped for other digital assets such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple and a host of other coins or the buyer can simply get in touch with a seller. An example of a platform where Bitcoin can be swapped for other cryptocurrencies is ShapeShift while other marketplaces require the seller to get in touch with the buyer directly. In such platforms, the seller posts his coin and waits for the reaction from a buyer and if his price is found interesting, the exchange can proceed. Example of such platforms includes; Bitbagain, BitcQuick and LocalBitcoins.
One of the most important but developing methods of owning this coin is by exchanging goods and services for the virtual currency. In fact, this is one of the main reasons for which it was created and most Bitcoin evangelists can’t wait to see this a reality in the nearest future. As individuals, governments and institutions get to understand Bitcoin and its potentials, the currency is expected to gain more popularity and get accepted by the masses. It is already being accepted in many countries for payments with Japan being one of the most crypto friendly nations in the world. Many multinational companies are also are accepting Bitcoin as an official payment method. Microsoft, for example, accepts bitcoin as one of the methods of payment meanwhile other companies such as the Dallas Mavericks plans on accepting Bitcoin.
Made up your mind to own BTC? Read what a Bitcoin wallet is and which options there are.