What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin (BTC) is one of the first cryptocurrencies to rise in popularity. Invented in 2008, it is now the largest cryptocurrency by market share. As of June 2017, BTC has a nearly $40 billion market cap. The only other cryptocurrency to come close to this is Ethereum.
Bitcoin is a store of value as a cryptocurrency, becoming more and more generally accepted. Online stores and eCommerce businesses are more likely to accept BTC for payment. There are also brick and mortar stores that have accepted the cryptocurrency.
Where to Buy Bitcoin?
You can purchase and invest in BTC through the following means:
Dealers buy and sell BTC and provide liquidity to the market. These dealers profit through the spread between their bid and ask price. You will most likely pay a slightly higher fee than the current market rate by buying through a dealer.
Exchanges are automated, digital marketplaces that connect BTC buyers with BTC sellers. There are many different backend Exchanges and even many more frontend/UI Exchanges. Because of the variety of Exchanges available, there will generally be slightly different market rates for BTC. For example, the GDAX, the backend exchange used by the frontend exchange Coinbase, has lower prices than the backend exchange that supports CEX.io.
Local purchases are increasingly common. Some websites act as “craigslists” or “eBays” that connect local users willing to trade their BTC for local currency.
Alternatives to Bitcoin
Because of the growing popularity of BTC, several new cryptocurrencies have been created to attempt to penetrate the market. BTC’s strongest competitor is Ethereum, followed by other cryptocurrencies known as alternative coins or Altcoins.
Do you think cryptocurrencies will replace fiat currencies in the future? Leave your comments in the comments box.