Just hearing about Bitcoin for the first time recently or getting curious about it? Well, the news is constantly changing! I suggest you take a look at Wikipedia for info that should be fairly current: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin
I discovered Bitcoin initially as an investment vehicle a few years ago as (1) the stock market had become way to volatile and unpredictable for me to be able to use it successfully and sleep at night (2) I began to feel that even precious metals were getting manipulated such that they appeared to be turning into an unreliable investment vehicle.
And, just last week I read about this being the case! Of course, anything you read here would have to be confirmed. I learned about"crash injections" and the notion that big banks had been using paper gold contracts to artificially suppress the price. Ratio of paper gold to physical gold reached a record in 2014: 117. That means that for every 117 ounces of gold traded with paper contracts, only 1 oz of gold is available in the world. That number went up to 294 in 2015.
For perspective: By adding 50,704 naked shorts in just 5 days, the "gold conspiracy" shorted 5,075,400 troy ounces of paper gold which is equal to:
- 158 metric tonnes of metal
- The entire gold holdings of Thailand
- 75% of all the gold produced in US mines in 2015
Keep this in mind as you read through what I feel are the top 5 advantages that Bitcoin has:
- Governments can't use it to control us (they don't have control over it, at least in the same way as they do with cash)
- It's inflation proof (there is a fixed number that can be created, that's it)
- It could be more secure than paper currency or credit cards (despite the breaches that have occurred to date)
- It's an investment vehicle that may be useful for diversification and potentially significant profits
- It's private. Bitcoin owners can be anonymous.
Its my understanding that financial backers of Google, Facebook, Skype and Yahoo are pouring a lot of funds into Bitcoin. I've heard counts of up to 40,000 retailers are able to do transactions in Bitcoin, one of the larger ones includes Overstock.com.
In terms of learning about who the current retailers are, it doesn't seem that a single exhaustive directory is available as yet. What I do is, every so often, I use these 2 search strings in Google:
- bitcoin retailer
- bitcoin product directory
Directories that may survive in the long run include:
How should you proceed? I recommend you:
- Do some independent researching on the topic, to get more informed and comfortable with the idea.
- Set up a Bitcoin wallet on your smart phone (iPhone or Android). I'm a fan of Coinbase: https://www.coinbase.com/
- Connect your Bitcoin wallet to the bank account that has the US dollars you are going to buy Bitcoin with.
- Transfer US dollars to your Bitcoin wallet.
- Purchase Bitcoin via your Bitcoin wallet.
- See how your investment does over time (and add to it regularly)!
- Buy things* using Bitcoin! Ultimately, adoption will enable this currency to flourish.
*Perhaps you could start with birthday, anniversary, and holiday gifts! The Scarf Boutique and I would be very happy to work with you!