Bitcoin, a digital cryptocurrency, has rapidly sprung into popular awareness in recent times. There has been different, often competing narratives regarding what bitcoin is, which has left many searching for answers. So, what is bitcoin, and how does it differ from other currencies?
Firstly, it is the first decentralized currency, which in plain terms means that its system enables payments to be sent between users. This can be done through various ways such as mobile phone to mobile phone, without having to pass through a central authority, such as a bank. This is also how it maintains anonymity, as there is no central authority, there is no need to demonstrate your identification. Although each bitcoin transaction is recorded in a public log, names of buyers and sellers are kept private– only their wallet IDs are shown.
In addition, unlike fiat currencies like the dollar or euro, bitcoin has a limited supply, its supply is tightly controlled by an underlying algorithm, which in turn means that, if demand grows and the supply remains the same, the value will increase, a potentially profitable feature.
A well-known, but an often misconstrued aspect of bitcoin is how Bitcoins mechanism is completely peer-to-peer, thus giving users greater freedom and autonomy. This is because financial bodies such as banks or governments, cannot halt user transactions or freeze user accounts, giving more flexibility than standard currencies.
Lastly, one of the most attractive elements of bitcoin is the low transaction fees. Purchasing dream vacations and goods online is increasingly popular, even the go-to choice for many, however, people often overlook how much they spend on transaction fees, which accumulatively can add up to a lot. Since it’s system is decentralized, transaction costs are significantly reduced as well as transfer authorization times.
So, that is what bitcoin is and some of what its benefits are, now, what are some great ways to spend it? Quickly, bitcoin has soared in popularity with millions of current users and it can also be spent in over 100,0000 places. Here are our three top ways to spend it:
Bitcoin is being increasingly accepted in the travel industry. Bitcoin has become a method of avoiding the costs of currency conversion, ATM withdrawal fees, transactions fees, and fraud risks that come with international credit card use. Many travel companies such as Expedia and CheapAir accept payment via Bitcoin, both popular travel-related sites.
To play games online
Bitcoin’s anonymity, high-security features, and low transaction fees make it a great choice for online gambling. Some people are turned off from using bitcoins in this area because they think that there may be a lack of choice, but in fact, there are a large number of online casino sites that accept bitcoin, and you find a wide variety of them on the website Gamble.io, which reviews bitcoin sites. An example of a reviewed website is the sports betting site Cloudnet, a bitcoin sportsbook that offers casino games too.
To grab a meal
A rising number of restaurants now accept bitcoin. Most restaurants and food outlets don’t operate online, and since bitcoin is a digital currency, this can seem confusing, however, popular food chain Subway, and Burger King in the US now accept bitcoins – demonstrating its versatility. It’s still early days, but popularity appears to be moving in an upward direction in this area.
In this brave new world, bitcoin is just one of the newest developments in how we spend, earn and exchange. As it develops and expands, so will more places accept and utilise it.