Bitcoin: What Is It, And How Do I Get It?

Bitcoin: What Is It, And How Do I Get It?

Bitcoin. You’ve heard of it, and you want it. Or, it is highly likely that you have, and you do. And who can blame you? This strange new currency seems to enter the headlines on a weekly basis, rising high and crashing low on the regular. Getting in at the right time can be a difficult call, but first you need to understand just what it is you would be dealing with if you want to trade it on sites like and the like.

So What Is a Bitcoin Anyway?

Simply put, it is a virtual currency generated via cryptocalculations. Yes, that’s the simply put. It is a complicated and nuanced thing if we go into all of the messy details. The big thing to know if you want to trade it is that there are no physical assets, and that it was set out in something known as a whitepaper by a mysterious and much-unknown individual going only by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Whether or not that is their real name is anyone’s guess, though most assume it a pseudonym of sorts. It is a decentralized currency, meaning no government can issue it. It can only be made via mining, which is a process where computers make mass calculations and are given the coins in return. 

Why Does This Bitcoin Have Monetary Value?

This is a strange one to answer. Bitcoin has value because people give it value. By accepting it as a currency for use, it has become something greater than if it stood on its own. Some would say that the fact that the calculations used for creating it are often put to scientific use also merits noting for its value, and whilst this is true the money per bitcoin ratio is largely inflated by prospective traders and the like these days. Still, it is good to know that there is a mathematical backing to the coins, as well as a sizable amount of protection to prevent theft and the system as it is from attacks.

How Do I Get My Hands On Some Bitcoins?

You want to get some bitcoins for yourself? Understandable, considering how the market is going at the moment. There’s two reliable methods to getting a hold of bitcoins, beyond simply accepting payment with them. The first is the original, and the slowest. Mining. Most people who get in on mining these days join a network where they contribute their computing power to a grid, and then everyone involved splits the earnings when they come in. This method is slow, and not entirely reliable, but it is the original way to get these coins. The second is simpler. Going to a marketplace and buying the coins directly. It has a higher monetary cost for entry, but you get your coins that other people have mined right away, so for many that is a fair investment. You can also buy part of a bitcoin, making it a little less expensive than buying a whole – especially considering how the market fluctuates. Just make sure you’re buying when the price is lower, not higher.

This is a good way to begin learning about this strange currency, but really getting to grips with it takes a little longer. Keep researching, buy in if you can afford to, and see where the future leads. Who knows, perhaps you’ll make it big, or perhaps you’ll simply land a smaller amount like most people. Either way, it is clear that we live in a new digital age, and Bitcoin (much like its contemporaries) will likely make up a large part of the economic movement in the years to come.

Posted in: Technology