A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin

Bitcoin has been in the news lately, leading a new generation of onlookers to sit up and take notice of this cryptic new currency. It isn’t any ordinary currency though as it can only be earned and traded online. Bitcoin has been hailed as the world’s first mainstream digital currency, a fact that its lesser competitors realize all too well.

The virtual currency has come a long way into regaining acceptance from big backers such as Virgin Atlantic, Tesla Motors, Zynga, Overstock and many. But as things stand,  Bitcoin the currency has still ways to go as countries like Russia, China and Japan, economic powerhouses all of them, have banned or refused to give their blessings to the fledging young economic fire starter. But there are murmurs gaining traction, murmurs that can help Bitcoin become the truly online currency that people are comfortable with.

Origins of Bitcoin

The origins of this currency have been shrouded in mystery as well. According to a popularly held myth, the currency was the brainchild of one Mr. Satoshi Nakamoto, a man who has proven as elusive as his famous invention. Recently, a major news publication ran an expose on the ‘true’ Mr. Satoshi Nakamoto, shining a spotlight on an ordinary Joe with all the basic skills needed to bring about Bitcoin. But the truth has remained murky as ever; with the man at the center of the Bitcoin storm denying his role in setting up the currency.

Barring the intrigue and mystique of the inventor, Bitcoin was envisioned as an answer to the age old question – Why should the value of money be determined by financial institutions? What if, there were no giant financial firms exercising their influence over the economic value of that dollar/pound/yuan/yen in banks? What if, it was up to ordinary citizens like everyone to have a say over the value of a currency?

It is this theme of democratization of currency that is at the heart of the Bitcoin revolution. The idea that people could no longer be hostage to the whims of big corporations, idealistic as it may be, proved to be too popular to pass up.