Video - What Is Bitcoin And Why Should You Care
Understanding Bitcoin is a bit difficult specially when you are a neophyte of this technology. To start with, you can think of Bitcoin as a digital way to pay things like bills and receive as well from any amount you requested. It is a digital currency that is decentralized and no one owns it.
Unless you've been under a rock for the past few years you've probably heard something about Bitcoin. And if you're like a lot of people you probably still have no idea what Bitcoin is or what it's for. Bitcoin isn't an easy thing to understand but it is worth understanding. It's put a lot of Tesla's and Ferrari's in driveways where you won't expect them. And it has some pretty big implications for how we could be doing business both online and in person over the next 10 years. Graham's is our local Bitcoin nut and he's here to shed a little light on what it is, why you'd want it and what you can do to be a part of it.
You know, Mike is right. Bitcoin is not always easy to understand but when you think about it, it can actually make sense. So what is Bitcoin? Well, to start off with, it's a method of paying for things. It's what we call a digital decentralized currency. So I can pay you for something, you can pay me for something, services in goods. That's great.
Now how does that happen? Well, Bitcoin isn't just a currency. It's also the secure network where the transactions take place. When you think of buying something with indirect you plug your card in, a signal goes through the network. It verifies your account, make sure the money is there and then transfers it from you to the person that you're buying things from. Bitcoin is very much the same way. Essentially, if I have Bitcoin I'm going to connect to you directly. I'm going to send my Bitcoin to you. So that's one of the reasons why Bitcoin is cool. There's nobody in charge. There is no bank between you and I.
What's great about there being no bank? Well, that means that there are no fees. If you've ever received one of those $14.95 charges at the end of the month you're probably be happy about that. One of the great things about Bitcoin is well, instant transfers. They're very, very fast. So, if I send you something from my mobile phone it can also appear on your mobile phone fairly quickly. So that's a good feature as well.
So how do you get Bitcoin? Well, you might have heard of Bitcoin mining. The searches for Bitcoin mining and how to get Bitcoin have been off the charts for last few years. By mining into the blockchain, you're able to find Bitcoin. It's a little like digging for gold. So what is the blockchain? That's the network through which all Bitcoin transactions take place. When you mine into it you're actually securing those transactions and authenticating them between person to person by digging into it. It's like finding gold. If you fine a Bitcoin you get to keep it.
You can also buy Bitcoin. There are exchanges out there where you can exchange your dollars, Canadian dollars, US dollars, Euros for Bitcoin and they will transfer them back to you. You can also trade for a Bitcoin. Not to be confused with buying it. Let's say you've got a beautiful MacBook Air that you no longer want. You can put an ad up Craigslist and say I'd like Bitcoin for this. You can meet someone who can transfer their Bitcoin from their mobile phone to you once you verified you got the Bitcoin, hand them the laptop and walk away. So why would you use mobile phone? Well, that's where you have a Bitcoin wallet app. You can also have one on your computer. It's a secure place to keep your Bitcoin when you want to use it.
So where can you use Bitcoin? Well, direct payments like that person to person. You can also use it online where tons of retailers, over 500 retailers online are taking Bitcoin for various goods and services. One of the most common questions that we get about Bitcoin is what about illegal stuff. Now, you might have heard of the Silk Road, it was a website where you could go to purchase illegal things like drugs with Bitcoin. Now illegal activity takes place just about everywhere and Bitcoin being a lot like cash with anonymous transfers can be a great way of going about doing illegal things. Here is one thing that I would say to that though. Billions of dollars are laundered every year in cash, only a fraction of that actually happens with Bitcoin. So you might say that when it comes to crime this is the only place where Bitcoin is actually way behind.
So that's Bitcoin. It's a bit like cash, a bit like indirect and a bit like something altogether new. I like Bitcoin. I don't understand it completely but I get enough of it to realize that it could change the way that we buy and sell things in the years to come. If you want to learn more about Bitcoin, you can learn at Bitcoin.org and if you make enough to buy a couple Tesla's, don't forget to send one my way.