Getting Down to Bitcoin Basics: What It is and Where to Buy It

Bitcoin. Mining. Blockchain. Cryptocurrency. Digital exchange platforms. You have to admit that all of these terms sound pretty sci-fi and unreal, especially if you’re not really a tech-savvy person interested in the latest technological trends and advances. Don’t worry, though, because you are not alone in feeling like this—a great deal of business and tech people are actually still in the dark about what bitcoin is. So, why don’t we clear things up a bit?

First things first, the definition: bitcoin is a relatively new (from 2009) digital currency system which is based on a decentralized peer-to-peer network called blockchain. This basically means that the entire network is powered solely by its users, with no central authority or middlemen (e.g. banks) involved.

Let’s go into a bit more detail there. When bitcoin was first created, the idea was to make a completely secure cash system that would function without intermediaries and avoid frauds—and that’s exactly how everything works nowadays. If you want to buy or sell something, all members in the network need to verify your transaction first (which can sometimes take up to 6 hours). This is the only way it can be approved and it’s how bitcoin avoids problems such as misuse, double-spending, etc.

Now that we’ve covered what bitcoin is, let’s move on to where you can get it, sell it, and store it. Thanks to digital currency exchange platforms (and there’s plenty of them to go around), you can buy bitcoin from and sell it to other members in the network in exchange for one of the regular currencies. Once bought, you can store your bitcoin in a crypto wallet (Ledger, Trezor, and Mycelium are just some of the names) and you can rest assured your money will be completely safe there.

So, there you have it—the intro to bitcoin. However, fun doesn’t stop there and if you want to learn more about how this cash system came to be, what’s the most that can be mined, and other cool facts, you might want to check out our infographic right below this text. Happy bitcoin shopping!

[INFOGRAPHIC] What Is Bitcoin and Where Can You Buy It?