The Bitcoin was the world's most used alternative currency as of 2012. A pseudonymous developer known only as Satoshi Nakamoto developed the decentralized currency based on an open-source protocol.
How much is a single Bitcoin worth? One Bitcoin is divided into 100 million smaller units called Satoshis. As per its regulations, there happens to be a strict hard-limit of 21 million Bitcoins in total, which will be released at a scheduled rate until 2140.
Today, more and more online and offline companies are beginning to recognize and accept Bitcoins as a valid currency. Wikileaks, hosting.co.uk and Kim Dotcom's Mega file sharing site are among many organizations that accept this new form of currency for remuneration.
So why would someone want to ditch regular currency and instead use Bitcoins to shop around the Internet? Simple. This mode of alternative currency offers several advantages over traditional bank transfers or credit card transactions. The most noteworthy advantage being unparalleled security and privacy, meaning that no personal information is transferred during transactions. Also, Bitcoins takes out several barriers of global commerce and makes it easy for companies to process International sales.
"The Bitcoin payment system allows its users to make payments without revealing their identities or other personal information, unlike credit cards, Paypal and similar systems," said BitVoucher, a reseller, according to ArsTechnica. "Both Bitvoucher and our payment processor, zipbit, believe that an excess of customer information is already collected through existing channels, and we like to consider ourselves a haven from the intrusive nature of most payment processors."
Simply put, the Bitcoin system is a decentralized, user-user economy of digital currency. Being founded on an open source platform, it allows everyone to take a peek at the functioning of the entire system. Also, unlike most online payment services, there are no or very few fees involved when using Bitcoins, making it much cheaper than other players.
Some experts even call Bitcoins an underground currency since it happens to be popular in Silk Road, an underground site that sells all things illegal. It's even widely used in several online gambling sites. In cases such as this, Bitcoin provides the best in class privacy.
by RTT Staff Writer
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