Frequently Asked Questions
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is digital money that can be used electronically to purchase goods and services and to make payments. Bitcoin isn’t generated or controlled by any central bank or government; it is produced by people and businesses running computers all around the world using software that solves mathematical problems. Bitcoins are transferred directly from person to person via the Internet and don’t need to be printed.
Is Bitcoin safe?
Bitcoin’s security protocols have been intensely scrutinized and endorsed by some of the world’s most qualified researchers. Password entry and additional verification measures are in place to ensure that only you have access to your account. Since the supply of bitcoin is regulated by software and also through an agreement with the technology’s network, no institution or individual can seize or manipulate it.
Is it tied to the value of the dollar?
The value of a bitcoin is not tied or pegged to the value of any other currency. Similar to stocks or property, bitcoin’s value is determined by the buying and selling of it on the open market. Its price changes in real time based on the number of people who want to buy or sell it at any given moment anywhere in the world.
Why does it change value?
Bitcoin is traded for traditional currencies on the open market 24 hours a day. So, not unlike the value of a stock or property, its price may fluctuate from day to day depending on supply and demand. Bitcoin’s value rating can be volatile as it’s still an emerging technology, but its price has continued to trend upwards over time and experts predict it will sustain this trajectory well into the next decade.
Is it similar to a credit card or Paypal?
Unlike credit card networks such as Visa and payment processors like Paypal, bitcoin operates over an open payment system that anyone with an Internet connection can participate in. Bitcoin is an electronic currency that was designed to be used online in person-to-person transactions, and it doesn’t depend on banks or private companies to process them.
Why would I use bitcoin?
With bitcoin, you can instantly send money to anyone anywhere in the world. You have immediate and direct access to your funds 24/7 and full control over your financial affairs. You can pay friends back for dinner on the spot; buy your next computer online; donate to your favorite charity; or spend it on almost anything you can think of. Bitcoin is safe, fast and easy to use.
Where can I spend bitcoin?
Bitcoins are accepted at several large online retailers such as Amazon (via gift card), Overstock, Expedia, and Dell. Non-profits like Wikipedia and the United Way also accept bitcoin for their donations. You can use bitcoin to top-up mobile credit, send money to a friend, pay for travel arrangements, and much more. Look out for the bitcoin payment option on your preferred websites.