- What exactly is a bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a decentralized peer-to-peer payment network which first appeared in 2009, created by the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto. A bitcoin does not have any inherent value- its value is built upon its acceptance as a payment for goods and services. Nor does it have a central bank, as the creation and transfer of bitcoin is designed entirely around cryptography. It’s essentially digital money, with no central authority or middleman, being entirely powered by its users. No-one owns the bitcoin network and no government controls its supply. Bitcoin is controlled by all bitcoin users around the world.
- How are bitcoins acquired?
Bitcoins are acquired as payment for goods or services, by purchasing bitcoins at a bitcoin exchange, exchanging bitcoins with someone nearby or by earning bitcoins though competitive mining.
- How do bitcoins work?
To simplify things, bitcoin is essentially a mobile app or computer program that provides a personal bitcoin wallet and allows a user to send and receive bitcoins with them. Bitcoin payments are quite easy to make and can be received without a merchant account. Payments are made from a ewallet application, either on your computer or smartphone, by entering the recipient’s address, the payment amount, and pressing send. It’s as easy as that.
- What are the advantages?
Payment freedom is a key factor – it is possible to send and receive bitcoins anywhere in the world at any time. No need to worry about bank holidays, borders or bureaucracy. Bitcoin allows its users to be in full control of their money. Receiving bitcoins does not incur a fee and you can control how large the fee when spending bitcoins. The anonymity of bitcoin means transactions are secure, irreversible, and do not contain customers’ sensitive or personal information. Bitcoin transactions are secure, irreversible, and do not contain customers’ sensitive or personal information. Bitcoin can be trusted as its entirely neutral and transparent.
- …and the disadvantages?
There are fewer disadvantages, with the key one being the lack of widespread bitcoin knowledge. Many people are still unaware of bitcoin and its use. Bitcoins are also somewhat volatile and small events can trigger a fluctuation in value. Bitcoin’s development as a currency is ongoing and it has not fully established itself in the public consciousness yet.
- Is bitcoin secure?
Bitcoin is fully open-source and decentralized, which means that anyone has access to the entire source code at any time. This does not negatively affect its security however, as the whole system is protected by heavily peer-reviewed cryptographic algorithms. No organization or individual can control bitcoin, and the network remains firmly secure even if not all of its users are entirely trustworthy. All payments can be made without reliance on a third party.
- Why play bitcoin poker?
The online gaming industry has widely recognised the benefits of a global, decentralised currency. It effectively removes restrictions as all players are eligible to play no matter where they’re from. For many, the anonymity of bitcoin works perfectly for poker, a game in which the less your opponent knows about you, the better. Many poker players will agree that playing anonymously makes it impossible for a site to sell your details and helps to avoid legal restrictions and tax issues. Deposit and withdrawals transactions are speeded up with bitcoin. Once funds are in your poker account, playing poker with bitcoin is no different than using dollars to buy into a table