Welcome to GetSomeCoin.com. This site offers an introduction to Bitcoin, a digital currency used on the Internet. Current Bitcoin price:
This site is brought to you by Atlantic City Bitcoin
What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is money that was created by an anonymous computer scientist to protest the bank bailouts and went live in 2009. Bitcoin is merely a way to transfer money from one person to another over the Internet. The system behind Bitcoin is somewhat complicated and certainly novel but to use Bitcoin as a currency you don’t need to know all the details. Many people may not understand the details behind the monetary system or how a television works yet they are still able to use money and surf the Internet. As Bitcoin development improves tools are becoming available to make Bitcoin easier to use.
What about all these stories about Bitcoin being unsafe and used only for criminal activity? Many of the stories hype these issues and misrepresent the facts. The stories are amazing similar to stories about the Internet in the mid 1990′s. The stories then were that the Internet was for criminal activity, pornography and if you ever bought anything with a credit card your information was sure to be stolen. Back then there were businesses who refused to set up a web site because they thought it would damage their reputation.
“From time to time, Bitcoin is surrounded by controversy. Sometimes it is linked to its potential for becoming a suitable monetary alternative for drug dealing and money laundering, as a result of the high degree of anonymity. On other occasions, users have claimed to have suffered a substantial theft of Bitcoins through a Trojan that gained access to their computer…However, practically identical problems can also occur when using cash, thus Bitcoin can be considered to be another variety of cash, i.e. digital cash. Cash can be used for drug dealing and money laundering too; cash can also be stolen, not from a digital wallet, but from a physical one; and cash can also be used for tax evasion purposes. The question is not so much related to the format of money as such (physical or digital), but rather to the use people make of it.”
Bloomber News: Bitcoin’s Gains May Fuel Central Bank Concerns
How does it work? Bitcoin is an ingenious computer program that uses cryptography and “Peer to Peer” (P2P) connections between many computers on the Internet. It depends on many people agreeing to use the system and agreeing to use the software. It also depends on “Bitcoin Miners.” These “Miners” build the “Bitcoin Blockchain” that contain all the Bitcoin transactions. The “Miners” are paid for their work with Bitcoins and transaction fees contained in the blocks they “mine.” The security and integrity of the Bitcoin system is based on the belief that most of the people in the system are honest. The more people that use the system the more reliable and secure it becomes.
What Backs Bitcoin? Bitcoin is “backed” by the faith people have in using the system and trading Bitcoins for things of value. While there lengthy discussions about comparing to systems backed by things such as gold. Taking the example of gold Bitcoin is actually more stable in some ways. The number of Bitcoins in circulation is somewhat stable and known. For gold, someone could find a large untapped mine and eventually it will be profitable to manufacture gold using particle accelerators. Gold is also needed for manufacturing. Trading in gold as investments affects the price of gold and the associated manufacturing.
Can anyone just make Bitcoins with their computer? The creation of Bitcoins happens when a block is mined. However, the number of coins produced per block is reduced as time goes along until 21 million Bitcoins are produced so fractional Bitcoins will be the norm for smaller transactions. An interesting aspect of Bitcoin is that nobody can make any more. Unlike many national currencies, nobody can just decide to start creating more currency.
How do I get some Bitcoin? Several Bitcoin exchanges and services are popping up. Be sure they are reputable and check the fees! Some web sites are offering free Bitcoin to surf the web or download some software. You should extremely careful when downloading stuff like that because it may contain adware that slows down your system or even malware that can cause problems. If you are not sure what is going on it is best not to do that. See our Bitcoin Quick Start Guide to see how you can get Bitcoin in about an hour in many places.
Is Bitcoin anonymous? Yes and No. All transactions are in the block chain are public but they are associated with a long string of letters and numbers. If that string is shared the transaction can be verified. There are also some techniques to trace transactions. However, Bitcoin allows the creation of essentially unlimited addresses so transactions can easily be hidden. When making a payment merchants no longer need to collect personal information to verify payment because they have an irreversible payment just like accepting a cash payment in person.
Is Bitcoin safe? It can be unsafe if things are not done correctly. The “Bitcoin Wallet” holds the money and the Bitcoins are gone if the wallet is stolen or lost. However, you can create as may wallets as you want. A “Cold Wallet” can be kept offline or even printed on paper. Bitcoins can be kept at various Bitcoin wallet services or Bitcoin exchanges. Extra care should be taken to investigate any service before using them (There are some fake sites). While Bitcoin exchanges and other businesses have been “robbed” by hackers stealing their wallets banks also get robbed all the time by both physical robbers and hackers.
What happens if I lose my wallet? The Bitcoin is lost forever. However, new tools are being developed to have a “dead man’s switch.” This means your Bitcoin will be transferred to another account after a period of time. For instance, if no transactions take place in 6 months the Bitcoin could be automatically transferred to a family member’s address.
Are Bitcoin Transactions Recorded Right away? No, It takes some time before Bitcoin transactions are completely verified. This is because there is no central authority that approves the transaction. The transaction is verified by many Bitcoin users connected via Peer to Peer (P2P) connections and the Bitcoin miners creating blocks in the Bitcoin Blockchain. Transactions are accepted by a consensus of Bitcoin users running the Bitcoin software.
Can I use Bitcoin on my mobile phone? Yes! It is suggested the mobile wallet be backed up and/or only small amounts be carried in the mobile walled. You can also use a Bitcoin exchange or wallet service and log onto their online wallet. Generally a store taking Bitcoin will have a barcode that can be scanned to create a Bitcoin transaction automatically.
Can I practice before I use real Bitcoin? Yes! There is a “testnet” where “play” Bitcoins can be used. See our Bitcoin Quick Start Guide for more information.
Are there physical Bitcoins? Yes! Some metal Bitcoins have been pressed as promotional items that have no value. real physical Bitcoins have been produced. These Bitcoins have an outer code that can be checked against the Bitcoin Blockchain to see the value is there. There is then a tamper-proof inner code that is used to cash in the physical Bitcoin for “real” Bitcoins. See https://www.casascius.com/
How do I get a refund? Another surprising (and sometimes unsettling) answer is that you can’t. Bitcoin is a distributed system nobody owns or operates Bitcoin and there is nowhere to go if you want to complain. There is no way to reverse a Bitcoin transaction! However, there is an amazing set of untapped features that includes a programming language that can be used for transactions. These features can include reversibility, future transfers, complex contracts, and even functions that could provided by banks and brokerage houses.
Mike Hearn of Google is also a developer of Bitcoin and discusses unused features of Bitcoin:
How does Bitcoin Certification (CertiCoin) work? Electronic items (messages, software programs, patents, etc.) can be verified by creating a “cryptographic hash” of the file to be verified. The verification process is normally done by a third party who places a timestamp on the hash. Bitcoin can be used to timestamp the hash by creating a series of small transactions to reproduce the hash and Bitcoin automatically places a timestamp on the transactions. Therefore, there is no dependence on a third party (other than the faith that Bitcoin will be around when/if you need it).
How does Bitcoin crowdsourcing work? Money is pledged and sits in the Bitcoin system so there is no question of the donators paying up. If the donation goal is not met the money is automatically refunded.
How does Bitcoin betting work? Transactions can be automatically paid by an external trigger or the 3-person transaction can be used like the escrow transaction. Also, cryptographic schemes can be used to prove the game is fair! See Bitzino’s scheme. Also, Bitmillions.com launches verifiable lottery system.
Is Bitcoin illegal? That is a broad question that cannot answered because it is a worldwide system and can be used in many ways. In the United States since Bitcoin is not physical, is not seen as “competing” with the US Dollar, and was conceived well after the current law was created it is generally thought to be within the law by legal reviews. However, there are some grey areas and are discussed in a December 2011 paper published in a law journal – Bitcoin: An Innovative Digital Currency. The paper also discusses other risks to the Bitcoin system.
Should I invest in Bitcoin? It is extremely high risk to invest in Bitcoin. Mt. Gox is the major Bitcoin trading platform. They are in Japan and it can be lengthy process to become “verified” which makes it easier to deposit funds.
Is Bitcoin safe to accept at web sites? It can be much safer to accept Bitcoin than credit cards and certainly much cheaper. For a mail order business that does not have to verify payment on the spot they simply use an offline wallet or a restricted wallet can be used that only accepts payments but cannot send Bitcoin. Using Bitcoin will avoid the sometimes arbitrary requirements of payment systems: Paypal Freezes Account meant for children’s Christmas presents |
Should I mine Bitcoin? Specialized circuit boards are being released just for Bitcoin mining that cost over $1000 each. The old days of running spare computers and graphics cards are over. Even with the specialized cards the profit margin is unclear. However, it is a great learning experience. HELP.org is planning to purchase specialized Bitcoin mining equipment when they are available.
Are there other features of Bitcoin? The Bitcoin system has extensive unimplemented features that permits extensive programming of transactions (Bitcoin Contracts) that can completely replace most banking and brokerage functions.
How do I get more information about Bitcoin? Help.org is currently developing some Bitcoin resources. The Bitcoin experts can be found at BitcoinTalk.org. However, this forum is lightly moderated and there are thousands of useless posts, many of them profanity-ridden. Popular threads can go on for 50 pages or more. Bitcoin is not just a money system, it is also a hobby to many of the early enthusiasts. Terms such as “Bitcoin Community” and “Fellow Bitcoiner” are often used even though you would not hear things like “US Dollar Community” or “Fellow Paypaler” so Bitcoin still has somewhat of a cult feel. This is because Bitcoin has many unique aspects that have never been experienced before. But keep in mind that the Internet was seen in a similar way in its early days.