After the news broke yesterday that Bitcoin was trading at about $9,500, and that it is now worth more than seven times an ounce of gold, we decided to find out more about the digital currency which is making waves through the technological world. What is Bitcoin? How does it work? How does it affect you?
We’ve broken down some of the key facts about Bitcoin so you can learn more about how this could potentially affect your business in the near future.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, which is held, transferred and spent electronically, so you don’t have to worry about mixing up your regular pound sterling with new Bitcoin coins! They aren’t printed, but they are produced by people and businesses all around the world.
How is it any different to regular currency?
Bitcoin is pretty much the same as the pound, dollar or euro in the sense that you can use it to purchase things electronically online, and increasingly in some shops and retail outlets. The vital thing that sets Bitcoin apart is that it is decentralized, meaning no single institution controls it.
Who prints Bitcoin? Could I make my own?
It’s not physically printed, and you can’t just create as many Bitcoin as you like and become a Bitcoin billionaire (sorry folks!). Bitcoin is created digitally by a community that anyone can join, however there is a limit to how many Bitcoins are in circulation at one time. You can break a Bitcoin down into a smaller currency called Satoshi, but it is impossible to increase the limit of Bitcoin in circulation.
How will this affect me and my business?
The future of Bitcoin is uncertain, but one to keep an eye on. Since there is a limit on the amount of Bitcoin in circulation, less and less people are wanting to spend them as the value of Bitcoin is going up. However, it’s price is volatile; similar to stocks and shares, it’s price can (and has) go up and down quite dramatically depending on the market.
Although more and more businesses are being open to people spending Bitcoin in their stores and online, this volatility has led to the majority not accepting Bitcoin because it’s too much of a risk to accept it as payment. So maybe don’t trade in your pound coins for Bitcoin just yet, but keep an eye out; the way we do business is changing!
What do you think about Bitcoin? Is it the future or too risky? Let us know at @MiHiDigital on Twitter.