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April 24, 2013

All about Bitcoins

All about Bitcoins

Bitcoins, for those who don’t know, are an unregulated form of digital currency that is not governed or ruled by any banking institution. It relies purely on P2P and cryptography for survival.  It used to be nothing more than a small fascination but now it seems to have made itself well and truly known.

While it used to be known as a form of money laundering and wasn’t in wide use, now it seems that there are more and more businesses who are stepping up the plate.  Some are now taking Bitcoins as a form of payment, such as Reddit and, just recently, OKCupid, an online dating service.  And there are even one or two companies who give their employees the option of being paid in Bitcoins instead of real cash.

What Are the Benefits of Bitcoins

Bitcoins are used to render normal currency into a digital one that is used for purchasing products.  Buyers can also store their Bitcoins in a digital wallet and  use them later on – or hope that the price rises significantly.  The exchange rate? Like any other, it’s up and down.  The highest value of a Bitcoin was $266, it now sits at around $119.

One of the biggest benefits of Bitcoins is that fact that you can remain anonymous.  It’s not surprising that this form of currency is still used to purchase weapons and drugs on the black market. However, this also mean you can avoid using services such as PayPal and Amazon. Bitcoins have lower fees and, because there are no banking institutions involved, when you make a payment, it is instant.

What Can You Buy With Bitcoins?

There is such a wide variation of companies that will take Bitcoins that there really isn’t much you can’t buy.  Clothes, cosmetics, tickets and more – all can be bought using Bitcoins.  It is however still a niche method of payment. OKCupid are one of a small group of big web companies that tae the currency. Others include WordPress and Reddit, while WikiLeaks and 4Chan, among others, will happily take yor Bitcoins off you as a form of donation.

Can You Buy Food with Bitcoins?

While it may be difficult to run your entire life using nothing but Bitcoins as a currency you can still buy some of the essentials, such as food. Foodler is now the very first online company that will let you place a food order and pay in Bitcoins, and they deliver too. will allow you to play your bill in Bitcoins – your order will be placed in US$ and they will charge you a fee of 0.02BTC for conversion to dollars.

Don’t be concerned though – although 1 BTC is currently worth $119, you don’t have to order that much food in one go as they can be fractioned. Foodler say that their website has increased exponentially since it was launched.  At the moment, Bitcoins make up only a tiny part of their orders but this figure is growing at a rate of knots.