Does bitcoin improve on “hard” currencies in any way?


The idea that Bitcoin is superior to government-issued fiat is based on a few myths.

Myth #1: Bitcoin cannot be created "out of thin air"

This is not true. More coins can be created if a significant number of users (either the economic majority or the majority of the mining hash power) decide that it's good for the system. Given the history of all money, it is almost guaranteed that this will happen. It is the same as government-issued paper. Remember, the US dollar was once linked to gold, and apparently could not be created out of thin air. When rules are made by humans, the rules can be changed.

A separate but related point: nothing prevents Bitcoin from being levered like fractional reserve banking. See how gold ETFs work. Gold cannot be created out of thin air (even if everyone agrees!), but you can create paper on top of it.

Myth #2: Bitcoin is decentralized and not controlled by any single authority

Again, this is not true. Bitcoin does...

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Many people believe that digital currency is the future of money, and even amongst those who don't there is a growing realization that there will be a long term place for these virtual coins to use when paying for things over the internet or transferring money to people in other countries.

There are a range of benefits to using Bitcoin and other digital currencies. The fact that they offer lower transaction fees for merchants in comparison to credit cards or Paypal means that some stores are willing to pass the savings on to customers in the form of discounts. You can transfer money to anybody, anywhere in the world without paying the high prices associated with international bank transfers or traditional money transfer services. You can also have complete control over your money, storing it on your own computer or phone rather than having to trust a bank or other financial organisation (no fear of failing banks, or Cyprus style 'bank levies' forcing you to pay for the...

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As Artefact2 mentioned, Bitcoin uses fixed-point math to calculate the block subsidies. So, ignoring the unspendable genesis block, the sundry lost coins and unclaimed rewards, the maximum number of bitcoins is 20999999.9769 BTC.

I found that number through the following python program:

COIN = 100 * 1000 * 1000 nSubsidy = 50 * COIN nHeight = 0 total = 0 while nSubsidy != 0: nSubsidy = 50 * COIN nSubsidy >>= nHeight / 210000 nHeight += 1 total += nSubsidy print total / float(COIN)

It's intended to mirror this code from the Bitcoin client:

int64 static GetBlockValue(int nHeight, int64 nFees) { int64 nSubsidy = 50 * COIN; // Subsidy is cut in half every 210000 blocks, which will occur approximately every 4 years nSubsidy >>= (nHeight / 210000); return nSubsidy + nFees; }

Of course, it only differs from 21 million BTC by only 3 bitcents, so the difference isn't...

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Bitcoin was invented as a peer-to-peer system for online payments that does not require a trusted central authority. Since its inception in 2008, Bitcoin has grown into a technology, a currency, an investment vehicle, and a community of users. In this guide we hope to explain what Bitcoin is and how it works as well as describe how you can use it to improve your life.

What is Bitcoin?

Since anything digital can be copied over and over again, the hard part about implementing a digital payment system is making sure that nobody spends the same money more than once. Traditionally, this is done by having a trusted central authority (like PayPal) that verifies all of the transactions. The core innovation that makes Bitcoin special is that it uses consensus in a massive peer-to-peer network to verify transactions. This results in a system where payments are non-reversible, accounts cannot be frozen, and transaction fees are much lower.

Where do bitcoins come...

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The Future Potential of Bitcoin

A quote that has been attributed at various times to several people, including Niels Bohr and Yogi Berra, is the maxim "Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future." Nonetheless, in a book about Bitcoin, we would be remiss if we didn't explore its potential in the future.

First, we'll look at the existential risks for Bitcoin—situations that could cause bitcoins to become worthless. Second, we'll look at the two main roles that Bitcoin could play in a future world, either as a method of storing value or as a method of exchange. Third, we'll consider some quantitative assessments of a successful future economy built around Bitcoin.

What Are the Existential Risks to Bitcoin?

For Bitcoin to survive long term, it must have advantages over existing currencies, or its adoption rate will stall. Also, because it is a software technology, Bitcoin needs to instill confidence that its network cannot be destroyed...

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Below are quotes from notable public figures. Where possible, the original source of the quotation is cited.

“At our venture firm, we continue to see an escalating stream of fascinating new Bitcoin uses cases and applications from entrepeneurs.”

Marc Andreessen, Venture Capitalist, Founder of Netscape, Jan 5, 2015 – Source

“The bitcoin world is this new ecosystem where it doesn’t cost that much to start a new bitcoin company, it doesn’t cost much to start owning bitcoin either, and it is a much more efficient way of moving money around the world.”

Tim Draper, Venture Capitalist, July 7, 2014 – Source

“Bitcoin, and the ideas behind it, will be a disrupter to the traditional notions of currency. In the end, currency will be better for it.”

Edmund Moy, 38th Director of the United States Mint, May 23, 2014 – Source

“Three eras of currency: Commodity based, e.g. Gold. Politically based, e.g. Dollar. Math based, e.g. Bitcoin.”

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Thinking about investing in a virtual currency like bitcoin or Ethereum-traded ether? These cryptocurrencies are digitally traded tokens that can be used to make purchases, digitally sign contracts or hold a store of value like gold — though their prices may fluctuate rapidly and even crash without warning. That’s why you must be sure you’ve done your research on the potential risks, as well as rewards, before buying in.

There are certainly good reasons to consider investing in cryptocurrencies. Most coins with a sizable base have gone up in value in recent years; the most well-known cryptocurrency, bitcoin, recently surpassed the value of gold, converting hundreds of dollars into millions for lucky early investors. And unlike gold, these coins can easily be easily exchanged for gift cards or even spent directly at major retailers like

Then again, there are also good reasons to not invest in cryptocurrencies — mostly because their prices remain quite...

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Before we start, if you’re new to Bitcoin mining and don’t know what it is watch this short and simple explanation:

“Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable in 2017?“

The short answer would be “It depends on how much you’re willing to spend”. Each person asking himself this will get a slightly different answer since Bitcoin Mining profitability depends on many different factors. In order to find out Bitcoin mining profitability for different factors “mining profitability calculators” were invented.

These calculators take into account the different parameters such as electricity cost, the cost of your hardware and other variables and give you an estimate of your projected profit. Before I give you a short example of how this is calculated let’s make sure you are familiar with the different variables:

Hash Rate – A Hash is the mathematical problem the miner’s computer needs to solve. The Hash Rate is the rate at which these problems are being solved. The more...

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Bitcoin might be the name on everyone’s lips right now, but did you know that Bitcoin is merely the tip of the cryptocurrency iceberg? For those not in the know, cryptocurrencies are basically decentralized and anonymous (or, at least, pseudonymous) peer-to-peer digital currencies that implement cryptography as a central security feature. Cryptocurrency coins are “mined” with computers by solving complex mathematical equations called “hashes”.

The success of Bitcoin has led to the development of many alternative cryptocurrencies, often called “altcoins”. Most of these altcoins offer their own take on the Bitcoin protocol, and are interesting in their own right. It helps, too, that most of these are still cheap and much easier to buy or mine.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that any of these altcoins will ever be as successful or as valuable as Bitcoin, but if you’ve been kicking yourself for missing the Bitcoin boat, you could do worse than check out one (or more) of...

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Find answers to recurring questions and myths about Bitcoin.

Table of contents


What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely digital money. It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. From a user perspective, Bitcoin is pretty much like cash for the Internet. Bitcoin can also be seen as the most prominent triple entry bookkeeping system in existence.

Bitcoin is the first implementation of a concept called "cryptocurrency", which was first described in 1998 by Wei Dai on the cypherpunks mailing list, suggesting the idea of a new form of money that uses cryptography to control its creation and transactions, rather than a central authority. The first Bitcoin specification and proof of concept was published in 2009 in a cryptography mailing list by Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi left the project in late 2010...

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The intersection between transparency and privacy can be tricky. Crypto currency bitcoin is a good example of this as its purported anonymity can present problems in transactions and potentially lead to various kinds of fraud. In an effort to make the digital currency more attractive to a wider range of legitimate businesses, students at Trinity College Dublin are looking for ways to increase transparency in transactions without ditching the anonymity altogether and believe a "credit-check" database could be one answer.

Bitcoin is being used by more large and legitimate businesses. Microsoft last year announced it would accept bitcoin payments, and Bill Gates is a known fan, though the service remains US-only at this point.

The Trinity team says that bitcoin’s anti-fiat nature and lack of government regulation are what makes it attractive to many users, but some form of regulation might help, "if only to reduce the risk of fraudulent business practices or money...

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You may have heard the term Bitcoin recently, maybe while surfing the Internet, from a friend or read about Bitcoins somewhere in the newspapers. So what is Bitcoin and how do they work? Who is a Bitcoin miner or what is Bitcoin mining? How is the Bitcoin investment market? This post tries to touch upon these questions in brief.

What Is Bitcoin

For those who do not know about Bitcoin, it is an electronic currency – not related or dependent on the currency of any country. Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital currency first described in a 2008 paper by pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto, who called it an anonymous, peer-to-peer, electronic payments system. It uses the Blockchain Technology.

What makes this Cryptocurrency more volatile is that unlike printed coins and bills, there is no physical entity to back it. For example, in many countries, bills are printed only up to a certain ratio of total exchangeable gold (or any other precious) metal available in...

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Keep an eye on the Bitcoin price, even while browsing in other tabs. Simply keep this site open and see the live Bitcoin price in the browser tab. (Note: Some mobile browsers don’t yet support this feature.)

See how many bitcoins you can buy. Enter an amount on the right-hand input field, to see the equivalent amount in Bitcoin on the left.

See the value of your Bitcoin holdings. Enter the number of bitcoins you have, and watch their value fluctuate over time.

Compare Bitcoin to gold and other precious metals by checking out the converters for Bitcoin to gold, Bitcoin to silver, Bitcoin to platinum, and Bitcoin to palladium.

Try it on your phone or tablet—this site is designed with mobile devices in mind.

Convert in terms of smaller units e.g. microbitcoins (µ), millibitcoins (m). Toggle using keyboard shortcuts: 'u', 'm', and 'k'.

Bookmark your preferred currency e.g. Bitcoin to Euro, or Bitcoin to British Pound. This site currently...

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How do I get Bitcoin?

Everyone knows that Bitcoins can be bought, but also you can get coins using your computer. The process of getting Bitcoins is similar to gold mining, but instead of nuggets extracted from the rock, Internet users solve problems using special programs, which provides a program algorithm. For each successfully extracted block of digits is possible to obtain a certain amount of Bitcoins, united in the block (with the passage of time the number of Bitcoins uniformly decreases). How person can be involved in this process? 1. Get a purse The first thing that needs to be done - get bitcoin-wallet for your virtual currency. The easiest way of getting wallet is visiting the site bitcoin and download bitcoin client for your operating system. After installing, it starts to download files from the history of all transactions Bitcoins. 2. Get the address of the purse When the client will be in the active state, press the button "Create" to get...

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Bitcoin is a currency like no other. In short it's digital money that solves many of the problems our current currencies suffer from and introduces many other uncertainties we never had to deal with before.


Low inflation risk. One of the biggest problems with our current dollars and other currencies used around the world is inflation. Over time all currencies lose purchasing power at a rate of few percents per year mainly because governments keep printing more money. This process is basically a small tax on your accumulated wealth. With Bitcoin you don't have this problem because the system is designed to make Bitcoins to be finite. Only about 21 milion Bitcoins will ever be released (mined). The release of new Bitcoins is slowing down and it will stop completely within a few decades. We have a slowing population growth which is projected to stop at around 10 billion by approximately 2050 which roughly coincides with the last Bitcoin to be mined. There will be...
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The purpose of this page is to provide a general overview of the Bitcoin system and economy.

Basic Concepts


Alice wants to buy the Alpaca socks which Bob has for sale. In return, she must provide something of equal value to Bob. The most efficient way to do this is by using a medium of exchange that Bob accepts which would be classified as currency. Currency makes trade easier by eliminating the need for coincidence of wants required in other systems of trade such as barter. Currency adoption and acceptance can be global, national, or in some cases local or community-based.


Alice need not provide currency to Bob in-person. She may instead transfer this value by first entrusting her currency to a bank who promises to store and protect Alice's currency notes. The bank gives Alice a written promise (called a "bank statement") that entitles her to withdraw the same number of currency bills that she deposited. Since the money is still...

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Chances are you have already heard about Bitcoin but you don’t have a clear understanding of Bitcoin & what can you do with this. So today I will try to explain you everything in simple words.

What is Bitcoin?

In simple words, Bitcoin is paperless currency. Bitcoin lives on the Internet and can be used to buy and sell stuff online. Nobody prints or issues bitcoins like coins and notes. Nor does any bank or government control it.

Bitcoins are generated by computers worldwide. These very powerful computers are capable of solving complex mathematical problems and processing large volumes of data.

Computer experts describe the Bitcoin as ‘cryptographic currency’- meaning each unit is formed of a complex commands. These commands are written in computer programming language which cannot be decoded by common people.

Bitcoin was made some eight years ago and is known as the fastest growing currency of its kind.

How is Bitcoin different...

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Bitcoin is the world’s most popular virtual currency, and brings with it a new breed of digital multi-millionaires. A few dollars several years ago could have made you millions in present-day – but when bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox virtually disappeared, many fortunes were lost. Can you put your trust in the virtual market? Why are governments so eager to shut the bitcoin marketplace down? And what happens if someone hacks your digital money? Today on SophieCo, we ask these questions and more to Roger Ver, a bitcoin entrepreneur known as 'Bitcoin Jesus.'

Sophie Shevardnadze: And here we are with Roger Ver, bitcoin entrepreneur. Roger, it is really great to have you with us. He is joining us from Japan. Now, governments call bitcoin a financial pyramid, but you call it the most important invention since the internet. Why?

Roger Ver: Bitcoin really is one of the most important inventions ever made in the entire history of the world. It’s the first time in the entire...

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Falling prices sound like a good thing, but they're not.

When prices fall, people put off buying things. And when people put off buying things, companies put off investing. And then the economy slumps—and keeps slumping. Even worse, people are stuck trying to pay back debts that don't fall with wages that do. So bankruptcies pile up, and so do bank losses. That makes people too scared to borrow, and banks too scared to lend, which only makes prices fall even more.

This self-perpetuating cycle of doom is what sunk the global economy in the 1930s, and what, to a lesser extent, has sunk Japan since the 1990s. And it's what has been sinking us since 2008, though this time central banks have at least kept prices from falling, just barely.

Now, it doesn't make much sense, but there's actually a currency designed to create these kind of economic calamities. A currency designed for deflation. That's Bitcoin, the virtual currency you can theoretically use to buy things...

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Bitcoin is a global form of digital currency. Unlike traditional currencies, which were frequently backed by gold and silver, bitcoin is based on distributed computing. While traditional currencies are printed by central banks, bitcoins are created or “mined” by distributed computer networks.

Another way bitcoin differs from traditional currencies is that it is decentralised, meaning that it is not controlled by any single institution. As a result, miners around the world create new units of the currency and confirm its transactions.

FXCM does not endorse bitcoin and does not offer bitcoin trading at the present time.

Bitcoin / USD Chart

How does Bitcoin work?

The bitcoin network comprises thousands of computers linked together through a ledger of all bitcoin transactions known as the “block chain” and governed by a uniform bitcoin protocol. Every bitcoin transaction produces a series of letters and numbers, known as a hash, which miners then...

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Today you pay with paper or plastic, but one day will you pay for things with Bitcoin? Let’s explore what the concept of “money” really means, and role cryptocurrency may have in our financial future.

If you’ve been watching headlines for the past year or so, you’ve likely heard of Bitcoin. You’ve probably heard about its wild price fluctuations, its role in the international drug economy Twitter IPO, Android Profit, Silk Road Returns, PS4 Exposed [Tech News Digest] , and the collapse of some of the early Bitcoin businesses, like Mt. Gox Does The Fall Of Mt. Gox Mark The Beginning Of The End For Bitcoin? [MUO Debates] . Bitcoin has attracted a lot of press, most of it bad. What you may not have heard about are the real reasons Bitcoin is interesting, and why people care about it at all.

What is this “Money” Stuff, Anyway?

The history of money is...

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Bitcoin: Understated Benefits And Overstated Risks

In fact, a new study released by the Mercatus Center, "Bitcoin: A Primer for Policymakers," details some of the innovative applications in the Bitcoin economy that the public debate may not fully appreciate. Before regulators rush to mitigate anticipated harm, they should first understand how this technology works and how it can improve lives.

First, Bitcoin is a promising way to lower transaction costs. Credit card companies charge merchant fees that are often prohibitively expensive for small businesses. Small-business owners face the hard trade-off of either refusing to accept credit card payments and losing business or accepting card payments and losing money by eating the costs. Transaction fees with Bitcoin are negligible and can save money for cost-conscious businesses.


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Craig Wright's assertion that he was the creator of Bitcoin this week occurred at the same time as thousands of members of a growing industry tied to the virtual currency attended the Consensus 2016 conference in New York.

Attendees debated the truth of Wright's claims, but also grappled with the more poignant question of whether Bitcoin still matters?

Bitcoin has come a long way since its start. What was once marketed as a global currency - free from government restrictions - is now seen as a burgeoning technology that can help improve the world's financial system and change how information and assets are stored and shared.

Hundreds of new companies have started that focus on creating blockchains, the underlying ledger system on which Bitcoin is based.

Bitcoin vs blockchain

The answer to Bitcoin's relevance depends on whether you are talking about the digital currency or the industry.

Because Bitcoin was the first digital currency, the...

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