What is a Bitcoin?
The Bitcoin is a relative new "thing" for most people, but the virtual cryptocurrency has actually existed for almost six years now, making it relatively old in the terms of internet based projects. The basis of the Bitcoin is that it is a decentralized currency, not controlled by any government, people or companies, but simply controlled by the market instead. This means that the value of a Bitcoin is determined by how the market interprets its value, not by how a company markets it or how a government manipulates it. Add to that that the Bitcoin is completely anonymously for users to own and use and you have something unique that the world has never experienced before.
The great thing about having a decentralized currency is the fact that everybody can own it and use them without having exchange rates, high fees or anything similar. Another thing that made the Bitcoin unique upon its development is the fact that it cannot just be created, but have to be mined using a special mining software, solving sophisticated mathematical algorithms, eliminating the chance for anyone to simply create Bitcoins out of nowhere. There is only a limited amount of Bitcoins that can be mined, once all coins have been mined there will not be anymore created and the coins will simply be circulating. That means that unlike currency as we know it where banks can simply print new money, Bitcoins has a limited number of coins available, making it a more believable currency and will long term stable out its value and become an asset to society as we know it today.
To keep track of all transactions made within the Bitcoin network, nonprofit sites have been created to maintain the best interests of the Bitcoin as well as keep track of all Bitcoin movements across the globe. The blockchain site shows all transactions made within the Bitcoin network, provides stats and charts about Bitcoins and everything else you could imagine.
Bitcoins are very simple to obtain and use, making it ideal for all types of persons who would want to own and use Bitcoins to purchase services and goods as well as use them for gambling. All you have to do is to open up a Bitcoin wallet, purchase Bitcoins using their services and then send and receive Bitcoins. Transfers are almost instant, taking only 10-50 minutes depending on the amount of requests there is on the server and with very small or no fees attached, it is a great way to hold alternative currencies.
While Bitcoins became famous for being used in the hidden web, paying for narcotics and other bad things, the Bitcoin has done a great job of shaking off these bad things and is now gaining ground as a respected virtual currency that more and more regular people look into owning and using every single day.
How Did Bitcoins Start?
The Bitcoin was developed in 2008 when a developer known as Satoshi Nakamoto created the basis of the Bitcoin using public key cryptography. The first Bitcoins were then mined in 2009 and the Bitcoin was officially born. 2009 was also the year were the first only error major error was ever registered in the Bitcoin universe, when a vulnerability was discovered in the Bitcoin Protocol. The error made it possible for users to basically create an infinite amount of Bitcoins without having to mine any coins. The error was quickly discovered and sorted out, eliminating all the "fake" Bitcoins that were in the system and only showing the real Bitcoins. This is the only major vulnerability the Bitcoin has ever encountered and it was fixed before anyone could even try and exploit towards making a profit.
Later in 2009 the first Bitcoins came up for sale, with a rate of around $6 for 1,000 Bitcoins, making it a very good investment for the people who bought Bitcoins back then and sold it at its peak at around $1,200 per Bitcoin.
Today the Bitcoin is becoming increasingly popular, not only due to the mainstream news media coverage about the cryptocurrency, but also due to the fact that more and more people realize the potential in the virtual currency and wants a piece of the pie. 2013 was the year of the highest peak ever for the Bitcoin, starting with a jump to $200 per Bitcoin, then crashing down to around $60 per Bitcoin, then another peak at $1,200 and now it has finally stabilized around $600-$800 per Bitcoin. There is no doubt that the Bitcoin has a great future ahead of it and with more and more commercial companies investing in the Bitcoin, we can all expect to hear much more about it in 2014.
Bitcoins and Gambling
Because of the anonymity of the Bitcoin, the gambling industry quickly spotted a great way to increase their revenues by offering Bitcoins as a source of gambling funding. Initially there were not a lot of different sites offering Bitcoin gambling, but since the boost of 2013 making the Bitcoin mainstream knowledge, more and more sites continues to pop up on the internet, all offering great varieties of gambling.
So far no large gambling site have however integrated the popular payment method as a mean of depositing and withdrawing funds from their sites, leaving plenty of space for new sites to grab a large part of the market. We believe that some of the larger gambling sites will integrate Bitcoin deposit and withdrawals in 2014, making it available to the mainstream gambling market, who has been asking for the opportunity for a while.
One of the biggest concerns about gambling with Bitcoins has been the way it has gone up and down in value over a short period of time, making some people not wanting to gamble with the funds due to a large increase in the price. This is still something that is slightly concerning to a certain level, but the Bitcoin has stabilized its value compared to previously and is now easier to use for your gambling needs.
The Bitcoin also made it possible for Americans living in states that does not allow any sort of gambling, to go online and play poker and casino without having to worry about cash outs or anything similar. Since Bitcoin transactions takes 10-50 minutes, players have been able to deposit and withdraw with ease and not having to worry about the gambling restrictions they would normally be under, as everything is completely anonymous.
Bitcoins and Everything Else
There are more things to use Bitcoins with than simply gambling. More and more merchants - both online and physical - are integrating Bitcoins as a payment method. Currently there are more than 20,000 different merchants who have integrated Bitcoins as a payment method, with more and more being added every single day.
The reason for merchants to integrate Bitcoins as a payment method is quite simple, as it allows them to reach a completely new market base and thus increase their revenues, as well as the fact that Bitcoin payment processing is much cheaper than the traditional payment methods such as credit cards.
This means that you now have the possibility to shop basically everything you need online as well as in some physical stores and pay with your Bitcoins instead of regular cash. This is great for Bitcoin enthusiasts as well as for the new people getting into Bitcoins, that the market is becoming as diversified as it is.