“What is Bitcoin?” many people ask onforums and social networks. It’s easy to understand, for mainstream users rarelyhear the word “Bitcoin”. Newsaboutit are not seen on main TV channels often, and very few people read specialnews outlets. However, this technology is very hot now in the Silicon Valley,and some experts even believe that it can revolutionize the world of finance.
To startusing bitcoins, first you need tobuy them with a normal currency. It’s possible to do with an online walletwhich you may create for free. One of the most popular websites for registeringa wallet is coinbase.com. It allows you to deposit and withdraw bitcoins,receive and send them to other users. When you deposit real (fiat) money onCoinbase, it gets converted to Bitcoin automatically. You can also create anoffline wallet on your computer by means of special software and use it in thesame manner.
The BTC rate is rather volatile which posesa problem: you can create a BTC walletand deposit some bitcoins in dollarsor euro just to find out in a few days that the sum got smaller. Of course, itcan also get bigger. For example, as of the time of writing, the USD/Bitcoin rate is about $430. Tocompare, in December 2013 one bitcoin was more than $1000.
The Bitcoin rateis a kind of a rollercoaster which is often exploited by traders. Until it gets stabilized, a goodadvice is to use it only for transactions (transfers and payments), but notstoring money for a long time.