Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/2/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Bitcoin is unregulated virtual currency with a life of its own.

Imagine a currency that isn't controlled by any central bank or government. Transactions that can be made without fees. Currency that can be used to buy anything, even a pizza. Welcome to the world of bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a newly-popular universal currency, entirely unregulated by governments or banks.

Bitcoin is a newly-popular universal currency, entirely unregulated by governments or banks.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/2/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Business & Economics

Keywords: Bitcoin, currency, digital, virtual, government, control


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Bitcoin has captured broad public attention, now that it has surged to $1,200 per coin, which is by far an all-time high. The coins were valued around $13 apiece just under a year ago.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency. You can't hold it in your hand, or carry it like cash. However, more and more transactions are occurring in the virtual realm, with banks exchanging dollars and every other kind of currency by virtual means. When you think about it, unless you still deal in cash, most of your transactions are virtual.

Bitcoin works exclusively in this virtual realm. It was introduced in 2009 as a "peer-to-peer" open-source virtual currency, which means that it's not controlled by any one entity, but rather by the users of the currency itself.

Bitcoins are created, mined, if you will, by users who install programs on their machines. These programs generate bitcoin that people can put into digital wallets. Wallets are just long strings of randomized characters, designed to be encrypted and virtually impossible to hack. Your string of characters can even be written down and carried in your wallet rather than saved online, however there are digital wallets online.

Bitcoins can be traded for cash via exchanges, and a market has developed with people exchanging the virtual currency across wider and wider networks-although these markets have thus far proven speculative and a bit risky. Still, trade in bitcoin thrives.

Until recently, bitcoin was the unofficial currency of the virtual black market, being used on "The Silk Road" a criminal website that sold a variety of illicit products paid for via bitcoin. That site was recently shut down by U.S. authorities, but is reportedly back online.

However, bitcoin is gaining mainstream acceptance. Online retailers are preparing to accept bitcoin transactions, banks are opening up to the virtual currency, and even Virgin Galactic has announced that it would accept bitcoin.

Locally, bitcoins can be exchanged with retailers and other people. In some places, you can even order a pizza with the currency. New mobile apps allow you to scan QR codes at restaurants and retail stores.

Lending to the currency's preference is its relative anonymity. Unlike as credit card transaction, bitcoin signatures are encrypted, so you do not attach your name to a transaction, just your encrypted digital signature. Although it is possible to decrypt a digital signature to reveal a name, this requires special software and exhaustive work, so for now, at least, the transactions are quite anonymous.

There are no fees attached to transactions either. It costs nothing extra to deal with someone overseas.

Finally, bitcoin has scarcity built into its very being, ensuring that bitcoins act like virtual gold. Bitcoin is capped by design at 21 million coins. The coins are created at an ever-decreasing rate with production halving at regular intervals. Eventually, production will stop at 21 million bitcoin, a milestone that will be reached in 2140.

This makes bitcoin scarce, and preserves their value. Fortunately, bitcoin can be broken into very small units, which ensures the currency can be used virtually forever, with prices eventually dropping as people accept smaller and smaller payments in bitcoin. It is regarded as a genuine deflationary currency.

Right now, bitcoins are popular and in demand. Anything can be used as currency as long as others believe it has value. The dollars in your wallet are just strips of paper blended with cloth, but they have perceived value which makes them exchangeable for goods and services. Bitcoin is the same, and with mainstream adoption now taking off, the virtual currency looks like it's here to stay.

Even better, there are no central governments or banks which can regulate or even stop bitcoin. Fortunately, even the banks are endorsing bitcoin to the federal government and did so last month during hearings on the subject.

In a time of increasing government control and regulation of everything, even freedom of religion, the popularization of bitcoin is refreshing.

So get ready-there's a new currency on the market and you may find you like it better than what you have in your wallet now.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Business & Economics

Los Angeles boosts minimum wage to $15.34 an hour, largest U.S. city to do so Watch

Image of Significantly, the bill in its current form includes tipped workers. This means that tips would not count towards the proposed minimum-wage base pay of $15.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The minimum wage for the city of Los Angeles will be $15.34 by the year 2020 - until then, wages will increase incrementally each year. The vote is being hailed as "the most significant victory so far" in the push to increase the minimum wage nationally. LOS ... continue reading


Another attack on 'In God We Trust': Atheists take a stab at U.S. currency motto Watch

Image of The United States currency's motto is 'In God We Trust.'

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After a series of unsuccessful legal battles against the religious quote on U.S. currency, a popular atheist activist claims to have found a new and more effective way attack the country's beloved "In God We Trust." MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Michael ... continue reading


Verizon to buy AOL in $4.4 billion deal Watch

Image of Verizon says the deal will shore up its wireless and over-the-top or OTT video strategies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a deal valued at approximately $4.4 billion, telecoms giant Verizon will acquire digital conglomerate American Online, or AOL. Verizon announced this week it would acquire digital conglomerate AOL, intended to bolster the telecommunications giant's efforts ... continue reading


Five American tech companies have $430 BILLION in which to play Watch

Image of While other companies cry

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While other companies cry "poor mouth" or say they have little at their disposal, at least five American tech companies are sitting on an overwhelming $430 BILLION in cash. There should be no surprise that Apple leads the list by a wide margin. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


New York Times reports substantial loss in spite of digital growth Watch

Image of There has been a move to make the newspaper more attractive to readers. The newspaper's cooking product, a hub for recipes and food-related content, has been free since its introduction.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In just one of growing death knells of the daily print newspaper, the iconic New York Times reported a hefty $15 million loss for the first quarter of 2015. Digital subscriptions continue to show solid growth. Digital advertising grew at a double-digit pace. ... continue reading


Shakeup at Walt Disney Parks -- information technology employees replaced by non-immigrant workers Watch

Image of Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World certainly were not the happiest places on Earth for many employees at the beginning of this year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World certainly were not the happiest places on Earth for many employees at the beginning of this year. Multiple layoffs went around to many several information technology employees and were told their final day would be January ... continue reading


Apple can't seem to spend money fast enough as profits soar and cash reaches a staggering $194 billion Watch

Image of At Apple - the company can't seem to spend money fast enough.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Digital gadget maker Apple has ended the first calendar quarter with $33 billion in cash and short-term investments and $160.4 billion in long-term investments. Apple currently has $194 billion in cash and investments, more than any other non-financial company ... continue reading


Meet the billionaires who pledged to give up their fortunes to change the world Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Through the "Giving Pledge," men and women belonging to the upper crust of the society, with billions of dollars in their name, commit to donating a large chunk of their fortune, whether through their lifetime or through their will. Coming from the majority of their ... continue reading


World's discarded electronic junk building up into massive toxic dump Watch

Image of Less than 16 percent of global e-waste is being diverted from landfill into recycling and reuse.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Television sets, washers and driers, stereos - broken, discarded, and then thrown away, are creating a massively toxic waste dump of gargantuan proportions. The irony in all this "e-waste" is the fact that precious metals such as gold and silver are also thrown ... continue reading


Australian father-and-son team raises $10 MILLION for beehive project Watch

Image of The beehive symbolizes productive activity, and for father and son Cedar and Stuart Anderson of Australia, their project was literally that.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The beehive symbolizes productive activity, and for father and son Cedar and Stuart Anderson of Australia, their project was literally that. Nearly 30,000 people have funded their "Flow Hive" project on Indiegogo for $10 million dollars. Not bad at all for such ... continue reading


All Business & Economics News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 17:19-27
19 Their actions are all as plain as the sun to him, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7
1 [Of David Poem] How blessed are those whose offence ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:17-27
17 He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 25th, 2015 Image

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
May 25: It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical experiences God ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter