Launched in 2009, Bitcoin is an open source technology and peer-to-peer global payment network that birthed the world's first decentralized digital currency; bitcoins. In order to participate on the Bitcoin Network, you need to choose from one of the many 'bitcoin wallets' - software or hardware - where you receive a Bitcoin address similar to an account number, and private keys, which enables you to send and spend your bitcoins.
The invention of bitcoin wallets has propelled the world into a new frontier of both financial technology and financial inclusion; digital and global money for a digital and global economy. Some bitcoin wallets store and secure your private keys for you similar to how a bank would store your dollars. Other bitcoin wallets give users complete access and control of their bitcoins by providing their private keys. It is important to note that bitcoins are not physical coins or tokens, and more specially, bitcoins never actually leave the 'block chain' and are never located in your wallet - bitcoin wallets store your bitcoin private keys which essentially provide universal access to funds.
Technology moves fast, especially in an global open source landscape. Originally, there was only one single software option for bitcoin wallets and today there are many types of bitcoin wallets to choose from with a wide variety of features and functionality that are constantly improving as the industry evolves. There are desktop bitcoin wallets, mobile bitcoin wallets, web bitcoin wallets, paper bitcoin wallets, brain bitcoin wallets, and now even hardware bitcoin wallets. At the end of the day, regardless of which one of the bitcoin wallets you select for personal or business usage you are effectively - with a mobile phone and an Internet connection - your own bank.
According to the World Bank, the global remittances sector is said to be worth nearly $600 BILLION USD, annually. Unfortunately, a large sum of the funds transferred are from lower income to poverty-level individuals who get taxed anywhere from 5% - 40% to send their hard earned money. Whether you're a construction worker sending $50 USD back home from Hong Kong to India or an angel investor sending $1,000,000 USD from New York city to Dubai, it's all possible; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Instant. Secure. Legal. And basically free. Many bitcoin transactions voluntarily tag a 1% or less fee to ensure a quicker verification and delivery but nonetheless with be confirmed within ten minutes.
Built into every credit or debit card is a minimum base fee of $0.15 or $0.20 and typically around 2.7% per transaction. You just don't see a lot of transactions on the Internet for $0.25 or $1.50 because they're not economically viable. But what if you could with the click of a button block spam emails or pop-up ads? Or, what if you could pay for ads on the fly? Want to download a song, movie, or book? What about a breaking news story behind a subscription paywall? Do you have favorite blogger, artist, band, freelancer, or tutor? What if you could instantly send them a payment or tip. "Thanks for the awesome video, here's a beer on me". What if your relative in another state or country has a small business project or charity they're seeking crowdfunding, a small loan, or a donation for? What if a loved one is one vacation and their wallet or purse is stolen? While these examples may seem obvious and elementary, they're real world examples of how there is truly a void in what we consider a "digital world". Sending digital cash via bitcoin wallets in real time, without fees or permission, makes a lot of sense.
Numbers don't lie. There is now more than ONE BILLION U.S. DOLLARS in venture capital funding to support and boost the Bitcoin Network. It has sparked the interest of some of the most prominent and successful investors in not just the USA, but the entire world.
S23P, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Union Square Ventures, DFJ Growth, Ribbit Capital, Funders Club, Y Combinator, 500 Startups, Overstock, Highland Capital Partners, Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., General Catalyst Partners, Index Ventures, RRE Ventures, Rakuten, Winklevoss Capital, Binary Financial, Pantera Capital, Goldman Sachs, and billionaires; Reid Hoffman, Tim Draper, and Richard Branson, as well as the NYSE / ICE.
The Bitcoin Network is secured by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called the 'block chain' which verifies and records every bitcoin transaction in chronological order into secured blocks. The ledger has a native unit of account called 'bitcoin', with a lowercase b. The Bitcoin Network software releases newly minted bitcoins to 'miners' for their payment processing work via a scheduled release and reward system. This process is called 'Bitcoin Mining' and has escalated immensely on a global scale in recent years in terms of both computing power requirements and venture capital. The entire Bitcoin Network operates without a central authority or repository, and Bitcoin is not a company or organization.
Critical to understanding the economics of the Bitcoin software, there is a built-in hard cap of 21 million bitcoin that will ever be created by the network. However, bitcoin is divisble; 0.00000001. At today's price, for example, 1.7492830 bitcoin would be worth $494.22 while 65.38 bitcoin would equate to $18,471.81. There are no arbitrary limits or internal governance to bitcoin wallets and you can, without permission; buy, sell, send, spend, and accept bitcoin as an alternative payment or investment vehicle.
The two public-facing top layers of the Bitcoin Network are 'bitcoin exchanges' for buying and trading bitcoin and 'bitcoin wallets' for receiving, spending and saving bitcoins. So, why is this so important? Through public key cryptography and several other implementations of genius, Bitcoin is the solution to the 'double spend' (byzantine generals) dilemma that has been an illusive computer science problem for more than TWO DECADES. For the first time in human history, two people can transact peer-to-peer with value; bitcoins, in real time, without the need for a third party intermediary.
With more than seven million bitcoin wallets in countless countries on multiple continents, consumers, merchants, traders, and investors have begun to realize the significance and revolutionary potential of Bitcoin as a protocol, similar to e-mail, acting as not only a financial layer of the Internet for peer to peer transactions, but a global, digital, and secure distributed ledger. Some examples of future use cases and innovation would be property and land title certification, automobile registration, identity verification, lottery systems, medical records, marriage license and divorce decrees, stock issuance and securities trading, salary and bonus distribution, notary and escrow services, trademark and copyright registry, social media and gaming credits and rewards, parking meters, garages, and tollbooths, crowdfunding, micro-lending, and tipping, smart device communication via the Internet of Things, and many other apps the economy hasn't even thought of yet.
The Bitcoin Network has attracted an outstanding public value or 'market cap' of $6,518,915,060 USD via a current circulation of over 15,401,025 bitcoin to date; 4/5/2016. The global markets have spoken as the 'network effect' unfolds and education, news, and overall awareness free-flows throughout the world.
It's happening. The world is changing right before our eyes. Now is the time to start learning and understanding the basics of cryptocurrency and digital money because it's here to stay. And no, it's not a scam or ponzi-scheme. Bitcoin is a technology coupled with a native digital unit of account. The Bitcoin Network is stronger than the top five super computers in the world times 10,000 - just to put things into perspective. There is a growing demand for the revolutionary global and digital 'commodity-currency' both as an global payment system, store of value, financial technology instrument, and speculative investment. Bitcoin has been subject to negative press from the media and early-stage volatility across bitcoin exchanges for a variety of reasons. It is important to note that the Bitcoin Network is still in its infancy and was created as an open source project for the world, much like Linux or Wordpress except on a much grander scale. Bitcoin may be hard to understand today, but let's frame this technology conversation into something more familiar. So, you use the Internet and e-mail almost daily, correct? Do you 'really' understand how they work under the hood...?
As the list of computer scientists, universities and professors, and billionaire investors grow toward a consensus that Bitcoin is - at least - a global phenomenon and technological breakthrough that will fundamentally change the way we view, understand, and interact with money on a global scale, we are entering the next generation of digital financial services. However, many experts suggest the price of bitcoin is the least interesting aspect of the equation which is a very intriguing perspective providing a sneak peak of how early it is in the game. As both human and venture capital continue fueling the industry, some of the brightest minds in the world are striving for amazing bitcoin related developments in every corner of the globe. As an example, some leading bitcoin wallets are now fully insured so your funds are always protected. In addition, some payment processors assume all volatility risk during transactions while converting your bitcoin to the fiat currency of choice, free of charge.
So, who exactly supports Bitcoin - and accepts bitcoins? First, we'll remind you it doesn't cost you anything to accept bitcoin. It's absolutely no-strings-attached, FREE. And more importantly perhaps, from day one you will immediately save money from all credit card transactions, which adds up quick. You may have heard of a few of these savvy companies already accepting bitcoin as an alternative payment method: DELL, Microsoft, Bing, PayPal, Google, Tesla, DISH Network, Expedia, Shopify, Overstock, NBA Sacramento Kings, Rakuten, TechCrunch, Bloomberg, DigitalRiver, Chicago Sun-Times, Intuit, NewEgg, ShowroomPrive, TigerDirect, Gyft, Reeds Jewelers, GrooveShark, Square, Simon Fraser University, San Jose Earthquakes Soccer, CheapAir, Holiday Inn - NYC, Reddit, Wordpress, Wikipedia, BrainTree, The United Way, NameCheap, Air Baltic, Zynga, OkCupid, TakeAway, Foodler, LV.net, MemoryDealers, and Virgin Galactic to name a few. Recently, the New York Stock Exchange invested in and partnered with one of the leading bitcoin wallets in the space. In addition, NASDAQ recently partnered with a bitcoin company and IBM is reportedly testing bitcoin projects. More coming soon...
Review our media gallery to learn more about bitcoin wallets.
It's the #1 question on the Internet. So, what is Bitcoin? Learn the basics of the Bitcoin Network in less than two minutes.
Sounds interesting, but confusing? This six minute video will help you organize your thoughts and misconceptions about Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Mining is the global backbone that supports and fuels the Bitcoin Network in real time, every single day.
Fad. Trend. Scam. Pyramid. Ponzi. And many more, but they're wrong. The Bitcoin Phenomenon is real. And growing. Fast.
It's extremely difficult to find a media company without their opinions floating around in the Bitcoin space.
Education and confidence take time, but many global thought leaders and universities are excited about Bitcoin.
Chamath Palihapitiya, former Facebook executive, NBA Golden State Warriors part owner, and Founder of S23P venture firm.
Andreessen Horowitz has raised over FOUR BILLION dollars and is one the most prominent venture capital firms in the world.
Barry Silbert is the Founder of SecondMarket, Digital Currency Group, and is the creator of Bitcoin Investment Trust.
Wences Ceasares is the CEO of Xapo, a bitcoin wallets firm with $40M USD in VC, headquartered in Hong Kong.
Fred Ehrsam is the Co-Founder of coinbase, a bitcoin wallets firm with $106M USD in VC, headquartered in San Francisco.
Peter Smith is the CEO of blockchain.info, a bitcoin wallets firm with $32.5M USD in VC, headquartered in London.
Tim Draper is an American billionaire venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Founder of Draper University.
Bill Gates is the richest man alive [$79 Billion]. He is also the co-Founder of Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Richard Branson is an English billionaire businessman, Founder of Virgin Group - a collection of 400 companies worldwide.
Do you understand Bitcoin? First, it might help to understand the history of money and its inevitible evolution to digital.
The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin - documentary by Daronimax Media brings you the first ever Bitcoin documentary.
The End Of Money As We Know It - documentary by Torsten Hoffmann, recently released his Bitcoin documentary.
Read community feedback regarding their experience with bitcoin wallets.
I enjoy using both coinbase and circle bitcoin wallets. And I love to introduce people to Bitcoin and since they are both bitcoin exchanges as well, they can buy bitcoin and use it immediately.
I have used a few different bitcoin wallets - Airbitz is thus far my favorite. Ease of interactive use for non-techies and most important of all, Airbitz gives users control of their private keys, funds and privacy of transactions.
I like bitcoin wallets that give me the control over my private keys. Multi-Sig seem to be the ideal solution for storing bitcoin without the need for cold storage or a custodial wallet - keys controlled by a third party.
The only bitcoin wallet I've ever used is blockchain[.info] and the majority of my experience is with the iOS app on an iPhone5. For my specific needs as a light user, their offerings cover every base twice!
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After stumbling across the 'Bitcoin Network' in 2013 we recognized how revolutionary the protocol is and noticed that in order to participate you need 'bitcoin wallets' which are fueled by 'bitcoin exchanges'. We immediately leveraged our decade of intellectual property and digital marketing experience and invested a significant amount of time and capital. Within sixty days we designed a long-term investment blueprint for the Bitcoin eco-system and strategically acquired what is now considered the largest and most valuable portfolio of digital assets in the space. In short, we are developing a premium suite of intuitive, memorable, and highly-targeted digital assets to market the Bitcoin Network to the world.
Since we first dove into Bitcoin we have been the beneficiary of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of targeted web surfers from more than forty countries spanning every continent on Earth minus Antarctica. We have multiple projects at various stages of development and are fully committed to providing education, news, and sponsored bitcoin wallets content to our global audience. In the coming weeks we will be announcing our portfolio of digital brands and bootstrap development schedule via BitcoinNetwork.com and our mailing list.