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There have been many attempts at creating digital money since the early 90s, with the ‘Cyberpunk’ movement. A movement formed by enthusiasts to mathematics, cryptography, computer programming and politics among other things. Early attempts at creating a digital currency in systems such as CyberCash, E-Gold, Netcash etc.
Bitcoin was first detailed in a white paper published in 2008 under the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Even though the media often speculates about who Satoshi is, and some very popular crypto personalities such as Craig Wright have claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, there is still no real evidence pointing to Satoshi’s real identity.
Watch this detailed video below which explains how bitcoin works.
Bitcoin is legal in most countries but it is not recognized as a currency or legal tender. Different countries have different rules of how bitcoin is seen for example in some countries bitcoin is viewed as a commodity and it is exempt from value-added tax. Whereas countries such as China, Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador and Russia have banned Bitcoin. In Russia, it’s not regulated but it’s illegal to pay for goods and services using bitcoin. And in China the government has cracked down on exchanges and miners and prevents financial institutions from processing transactions dealing in bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, it is decentralized and can be sent from one user to another without a middle man. It can be exchanged for other currencies, goods as well as services. In some countries where the local currency has no value such as Venezuela the people have started using bitcoin as a currency due to the effect hyperinflation has had on the Venezuelan bolivar.
To convert bitcoin into cash you have to sell it to another person in exchange for cash. This can be done through a peer to peer cryptocurrency exchange such as local bitcoins or global cryptocurrency exchanges such as coinbase and coindirect. You have to find out which cryptocurrency exchanges support bitcoin to fiat transactions in your country.
There are many ways to earn bitcoin, such as bitcoin affiliate programs, bitcoin faucets, bitcoin mining investment funds, and bitcoin mining.
Bitcoin is not owned by anyone so it does not make money directly but there are people who make money from it as an incentive to keep it operational, bitcoin miners make money by selling the bitcoin they are rewarded for cash. Other people who make money from bitcoin are bitcoin traders, who buy it when it dips in price and sell it when the price increases to make a profit and finally as bitcoin has a general upward trend even if it is volatile people who buy and hold bitcoin stand to make money in the long term if bitcoin continues its upward trend.
Bitcoin is one of the top-performing assets in the last 10 years when it comes to ROI (6,788.92% Return on investment from date of launch, $9,320 as of 6/11/19) but it is highly volatile which means there are risks associated with investing in bitcoin, but there are less risky ways to invest in bitcoin such as investing in bitcoin mining.
Please note that this is not financial advice. Do your own research (DYOR) to see whether bitcoin is a worthy investment or not and find out all the risks as well as benefits involved.