Bitcoin is a digital currency, similar to cash due to the fact it is instant, however is not managed or controlled by a central government or organization. Bitcoin is decentralised and not controlled by any individual, private group or authority. It exists as a network of computers that all work together to form a consensus. All nodes on the network are considered equal and none is more important that the other. The network is open and free to join for all those who wish to participate. None of these computers have more control over the network than any other computer. The network that Bitcoin was founded upon is based on 40 years of research in cryptography and over 20 years of research in cryptocurrencies; by thousands of researches around the world.

Bitcoin answered what was thought to be an unsolvable math problem known as the Byzantine Generals Problem.

It is important to note, that while Bitcoin can be very difficult to understand, most people don’t fully understand most of today’s technologies that influence their everyday lives such as telephones, cell phones, the internet, and computers.

“Regulation of money supply needs to be depoliticized… especially as it applies to virtual currencies” – Al Gore

While Bitcoin is a currency, it is really better to understand it as a public ledger. This ledger which is viewable by anyone, records every transaction within the network, and verifies the transaction from every computer on the network, without the need for 3rd party banking systems. This is the algorithm that the invention of Bitcoin solved. This system is very similar to the ledger that banks use to manage money electronically in their systems. While their system is controlled by a private company, Bitcoin is totally decentralized. It is not a corporation or bank deciding what is happening with your money, it is not decided by anyone but you. It is simply confirmed using validated math and proven computer science.

Governments:

In order to bailout the government of a 13 billion dollar debt, in March of 2013 the country of Cyprus announced they would claim 10% of citizens savings accounts, 6.75% of deposits less than 100,000 euros, 9.9% over 100,000 euros.

In 2001, Argentina froze all citizens’ bank accounts for a period of 90 days, in order to stop them from withdrawing too quickly. It also automatically converted their US dollar savings into their local pesos.

With Bitcoin, these citizens would never have been affected by their government’s decisions.

3 Facts of Credit Cards:

1. 10% of all Americans have been victims of credit card fraud
2. 48% of this fraud occurred via email or internet
3. 40% of all financial fraud is related to credit card theft

With Bitcoin, funds can be kept safe and secure with private and encrypted passwords. In order to purchase online, you simply make a transfer just as you would with a service like Paypal. You do not need to provide a credit card number or anything similar to it. When you send a payment with a credit card, your information is stored with a third party and you are required to trust that third party to protect that information. With Bitcoin, users must simply trust themselves to secure their own password which is never stored or entered into a third party database.

Links:

http://www.statisticbrain.com/credit-card-fraud-statistics/

“I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” – Robert Metcalfe

In the early days of the internet, it was a hotspot for copyright pirates, pornographers, and terrorists. While this is where the internet began, it is well known where it ended up; disrupting some major industries and now used by over 2 billion people across the world.

As Bitcoin is a new technology, it has made it into the hands of users who have used it for illicit purchases. Some consider it illogical to assume that because a small part of the community may be using it for illicit purchases, the entire currency must be bad. In 2013 alone, 1.5 trillion dollars is believed to have been used in money laundering, much of it in American Dollars. While this is a very high figure, there is very little debate on banning the US dollar since a small portion of users are using it for illicit purposes.

“In short, Western Union spends and earns billions to do what Bitcoin does for free.” – National Geographic

While Bitcoin is often considered a payment system for citizens in the US and other first world countries, often missed are the economic benefits it offers to the some of the poorest countries in the world.

For example, in many countries in Africa, the infrastructure of home phones was completely bypassed for the much cheaper and more capable infrastructure of cell phones. There are millions of people in Africa without access to modern banking and mobile cell phone banking has become a major means of financial access for citizens. Financial Innovators have already begun building services in Africa to replace the current text banking infrastructure with one facilitated by Bitcoin.

Many workers from the poorest countries in the world work in a country other than their home country and send money to provide a means of living for their family. In 2012 alone, migrant workers sent home $372 billion dollars, paying fees as high as 20% in order to do so. Bitcoin would allow these fees to be placed in the hands of people who earned it, as opposed to international money transfer conglomerates. It is ironic when you research the fees associated with transfers, that the poorest countries are often the ones that must pay the highest transaction fees.

“The vast majority of the planet don’t even own a bank account,” Bitcoin evangelist Jonathan Mohan tells PBS Newshour. “And it’s my contention that—and a lot of people think this—that, just as in Africa, they didn’t go to phones. They went directly to cell phones, that, in the same sort of adoption curve, in these developing nations, you’re not going to see them start getting bank accounts. You’re going to see them just going straight to Bitcoins, because if you own a Bitcoin address, you have a bank account on your phone that you can interact on the global stage with.”

Links:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131014-bitcoins-silk-road-virtual-currencies-internet-money/

“56% of Bitcoiners believe Bitcoin will reach $10,000 by the end of 2014″ – Coindesk.com survey held at the end of 2013

In 2013, Bitcoin had a rise from $13 to over $1200. While this was a great growth, it is thought by experts that this is just a beginning for the growth potential of Bitcoin. A lot of the growth is attributed to the more mainstream adoption scene. It is estimated that only 10,000,000 – 15,000,000 people across the world are using Bitcoin today. Given that a limited supply of Bitcoins (21 million) will ever exist, with supply and demand factors, the price will continue to rise gradually while adoption and usage spreads across the world. With more and more businesses than ever continuing to use Bitcoin and users across the globe adopting, it is thought but not certain the price will rise. In a recent poll conducted by CoinDesk.com, 56% of Bitcoin users stated they thought the price would rise to $10,000+ per Bitcoin by the end of 2014.

“Microtransactions is a really interesting use-case. And if done properly, it can be the driving force behind Bitcoin adoption.” – Ankur Nandwani

Because Bitcoin is virtually free to send, it allows users to easily send ‘micro payments’. For example, on February 1 2014, the Chicago Sun Times announced it would experiment with a new platform where it would ask users to make small donations for reading articles as opposed to paying a subscription model. With common payment processing fees, it would not be logical to send .10 cents for example. With Bitcoin being free, this is entirely possible. Must companies have a $10 minimum to process a credit card, so this low fee opens the doors the potentially millions and millions more in transactions.

The internet is the best content provider in the world; however, monetization is frequently difficult for writers. Often times, the only way to profit from content is from advertisers which can influence the validity of the content itself. A simple and free system like Bitcoin micro payments could revolutionize this common problem.

Links:

http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoins-role-future-micropayments/

Some of the most well-known companies to accept Bitcoin:

Overstock.com – One of the largest online retailers in the world
Tesla Motors – Largest electric car manufacture
Virgin Galactic – Space travel company owned by Richard Branson
Namecheap.com – Provider of website domains, hosting, email, etc.
CheapAir.com – Purchase all flights, hotels, and car rentals
TigerDirect.com
Fiverr.com

And over 200,000 other companies across the world. For a full list, please click here

Additionally, the innovative team at SnapCard (link to website below) has developed a great system that allows you to use Bitcoin to order from any website in the world that accepts Visa or Master card.

https://www.joinsnapcard.com

Right now, companies such as Western Union, Moneygram, Paypal, and the more commonly used Visa and Master Card are making billions and billions of dollars each year in transaction fees.

Here is an example:

To send $1,000 via Western Union from the USA to Canada, will cost $86.00 in fees.

To send $1,000 via Paypal from one account to another, the cost would be $29.30

These numbers do not calculate the amount lost from exchange rates between two currencies.

Price to send Bitcoin:

FREE