An introduction to digital currencies or crypto currencies as they are often called as well. Most popular example is bitcoin, most people probably heared that expression already. So what is it all about?
What is it all about these (bit-) coins?
Bitcoin is the most popular one across many digital or crypto money. It is like the cash of the internet, if you like, completely digital money. It is based on a decentralized peer to peer network (like BitTorrent) without any central authority. No one controls it, there is no government. Your coins are stored in a wallet, like cash. If you loose your coins (eg. delete your wallet file) all your coins are lost.
What can I do (buy) with it?
Digital coins can be used like cash: You can buy items online, if a shop accepts bitcoins. You can exchange them into any other currency like USD or Euro at a Bitcoin Exchange. So these coins really got a value and are traded online. As the whole topic is only a couple of years old and did not yet reach the mainstream, there are not yet that many places where digital coins are accepted. However, there are already ATM’s for Bitcoins and even Ebay thought loudly about accepting Bitcoins on their platform. Things will get even better.
How do I get them?
Acquiring Bitcoins can either be done
- by changing other money into digital coins
- someone is giving them away for free
- or you can mine them.