When I first heard of Bitcoin the first image that came to me was of a pirate testing the gold content of a coin by biting it. But, in this case 'bit' refers to binary unit or the smallest unit of information in computing. And of course, coin, refers to the oldest form of currency. Therefore, digital currency. Bitcoin is not without its conflicting aspects. So, I'll use the two sides of the coin analogy to outline the conflicts while trying to describe what Bitcoin is.
- Heads: Bitcoin is a global online currency. It avoids control by a nation. It avoids middle men like credit card companies. It avoids traditional national and international banking systems.
- Tails: There are Bitcoin exchanges where you can convert your bitcoins into dollars or euros.
- Heads: Bitcoins are traded for goods or services by online vendors that accept them. The transactions are anonymous. This is great for people who are keen on privacy and don't want their purchases tracked.
- Tails: Bitcoin is used by criminals who don't want their transactions traced.
- Heads: A bitcoin does not have physical reality.
- Tails: There are many imaginary representations of a bitcoin, which is a usually has some verision of the $ sign on it.
I used the library's Lexis Nexis database to do some research on Bitcoin. The result list of my search demonstates the varying degrees of Bitcoin acceptance. The May 14, 2014 issue of the Scotsman reports the first retail shop in Britain to choose to trade exclusively in bitcoins. The May 9, 2014 issue of London's Daily Telegraph reports on China's restrictions on the use of Bitcoin. Want to learn more about Bitcoin? Bitcoin wallets? Bitcoin mining? Try reading Bitcoin Exposed.