The economy is always growing and changing, developing almost as quickly as modern times. Though things like currencies and finances will always be part of an economy, even those are changing, too. In today’s modern world, everything is becoming digital, and now, money is too. Introducing Bitcoin, a new form of currency that is shaking up the world of finance and economics.

BERLIN, GERMANY – JANUARY 13: In this photo illustration model Bitcoins lies in a hand on January 13, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

What is Bitcoin?

Known as the world’s biggest form of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has been everywhere in the news recently.

In short, cryptocurrency is “digital money” or a virtual medium of currency exchange that is not backed, issued, or in any way tied to a certain nation, government, or similar power. It was first introduced into the world in 2009 and since then it has become the best known, most widely-traded and exchanged, and the longest standing cryptocurrency. To help people differentiate between the two “types” of Bitcoin, Bitcoin with an uppercase “B” refers to the software and the system in which the digital money exists. On the other hand, bitcoin with a lowercase “b” refers to actual money.

Who is Using It?

Bitcoin can be used by anyone, but it is mainly used by tech-savvy individuals who understand the software and Bitcoin creation, or mining. When one owns BTC, they are actually stored in a “digital wallet,” which can exist two ways: in the cloud, or on a person’s computer.

The wallet used to store Bitcoins is a sort of virtual bank account that gives users the ability to do everything with a BTC that they might do with cash. This includes everything from saving their money and purchasing goods and services to sending and receiving BTC to and from other users respectively. While some people find these virtual transactions to be much easier to navigate and handle, BTC wallets, unlike bank accounts, are not insured by the FDIC.

There is also a growing number of businesses who use Bitcoin. These can be anything from actual physical businesses like apartment complexes, law firms, restaurants, and stores as well as online businesses and websites such as Reddit and WordPress. In fact, though the BTC is so young, it’s value has already exceeded $1.5 billion USD in value as of 2013.

How is it Being Used?

Bitcoin is being used just like cash. The same way you might use some cash to buy coffee, some new clothes electronics, or even a car, Bitcoins are used to pay for your everyday goods and services. Bitcoins can be purchased at a Bitcoin exchange, exchanged, and earned through competitive mining.

With the Bitcoin, users find a bit of freedom in this cryptocurrency that is not had with government backed and distributed currency. For one, these Bitcoins do not adhere to the laws of borders, bank holidays, and other restrictions. This is due to them not belonging to any one power, which means the BTC user is in complete control of their own money. They can be sent and received anywhere in the world at any time.

What Does our Future Look Like with It?

Our future with the Bitcoin is uncertain. Though it is gaining popularity worldwide, the majority of people are still using traditional cash, bank accounts, and government backed and issue currency. Since Bitcoins are mostly unregulated, not many people are sure they can be trusted or wholly understood. In addition, governments are rather concerned about taxation (or lack thereof) of Bitcoins and their overall lack of control over this currency.

There are still some bugs to be worked out, namely the ease with which online Bitcoin wallets can be hacked, the uncertainty of mining and creating Bitcoins, and of course, the real possibility that Bitcoins can suddenly become worthless. Though it is taking the world by storm, BTC is not as stable as one might want a currency to be—but this just offers more opportunities to fine tune and perfect it.

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

2 thoughts on “What Does Our Future Economy Look Like with Bitcoin?

  1. Justin

    It’s difficult to get knowledgeable people with this topic,
    however you seem like you know what you’re discussing! Thanks


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