How can I buy digital money

Bitcoin - everything you should know about digital money


Bitcoin is mentioned again and again in the media. What exactly is it all about and how can you use cyber currency? We shed light on the matter.

For fast readers:

  • Bitcoin is digital money and an innovative internet technology.
  • Bitcoins make paying online faster and cheaper. Some merchants even give a discount if you pay in Bitcoin.
  • To be able to send and receive Bitcoin, you only need a so-called wallet, a digital purse. You can download it free of charge for your smartphone or computer or use it online via your browser.
  • You can buy Bitcoins from specialized providers online or in person from other Bitcoin users. You can also easily earn Bitcoin yourself via your blog or Twitter account.
  • Bitcoin is still a big experiment. Although it has not been cracked since it started in 2009, you should therefore not invest all of your money in Bitcoin at once. Nevertheless, it is worth trying out Bitcoin, because it is considered a promising future technology.

Bitcoin - what is it actually?

Strictly speaking, the term bitcoin has two meanings. On the one hand, Bitcoin is the name for a digital currency. On the other hand, it is an innovative internet technology that manages this digital money, the bitcoins, on the internet. The special thing about Bitcoin is the completely new approach to creating and organizing "money". In contrast to legal tender such as euros or dollars, Bitcoin is not backed by governments or banks. Rather, Bitcoin is based solely on mathematics and the functions of the Internet itself. It is organized in a decentralized manner and encryption plays a major role. That is why Bitcoin is also known as a cryptocurrency. But this also means that Bitcoin is not subject to any legal control.

Since bitcoins only exist digitally and are only managed online, it is much easier to pay online with them than with euros or dollars. Bitcoins can be sent anywhere in the world within seconds. Faster and cheaper than you could do with a transfer, for example, even if you do it online. Bitcoin is therefore often compared to e-mail. It is also faster and cheaper than its analogue counterpart, the letter. Nonetheless, the email has not completely replaced the letter and Bitcoin cannot replace the euro either. Rather, Bitcoin expands our monetary system to include functions that were previously not possible with "classic" money, but which make life easier in a digitally networked world.

What can I actually do with Bitcoin?

As digital money, Bitcoin is particularly suitable for making payments on the Internet. Software, music, e-books and games - all digital goods can be bought quickly and easily with it. More and more providers are therefore taking Bitcoin and some even give discounts if you pay in Bitcoin because there are no PayPal or credit card fees for the seller.

But even in real life, more and more merchants are accepting Bitcoin. Paying beer and burgers in a bar with Bitcoin is now just as possible as all of the shopping in a flat share in the supermarket. On this map, for example, all businesses worldwide that accept Bitcoins are shown.

Bitcoin is a limitless, global phenomenon anyway. Since there is no state that controls them, Bitcoins can be bought and sold in almost every country in the world. And because you only need a cell phone to use Bitcoins, they are particularly interesting in countries and regions that do not have a nationwide network of banks and ATMs. This is exactly what makes Bitcoin, for example, a theft-proof travel money.

What do i need to use Bitcoin?

Not much. All you need is a computer or smartphone with internet access. All you have to do is install a digital wallet on it. It is available free of charge as an app, as software for the laptop or as an online wallet. Here is an overview

And how do I get bitcoins?

There are several ways to get bitcoins. The easiest one is to buy them. There are specialized exchanges on the Internet where you can speculate with Bitcoins. If that is too risky or costly for you, you can also buy Bitcoins from individuals, for example at regular Bitcoin meetings. In many countries, you can now buy Bitcoins from machines or, like top-up cards for your cell phone, from kiosks. In Germany, however, this is not yet possible due to strict legal regulations.

Another option is to earn Bitcoin yourself. For example, anyone who runs a blog can link their Bitcoin wallet there and collect small donations. Small payments on the internet are particularly easy with digital money. So easy that you can now even send and receive Bitcoin with a tweet or a YouTube comment.

Is Bitcoin Safe?

To answer that question, we need to look back a little. The idea of ​​digital money is not new, but as old as the Internet itself. Economists, companies, freedom-loving intellectuals and ambitious programmers have been trying to create secure digital money for more than twenty years. However, none of the previous ideas could solve all the challenges at the same time. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is a clever combination of the strengths of the previous approaches. So it is not a fixed idea, but the result of decades of intensive research.

In addition, there are two other reasons that speak in favor of Bitcoin's security. On the one hand, there is transparency. The source code of Bitcoin is freely accessible and anyone who wants can understand how Bitcoin works technically and whether the protocol has possible security gaps or backdoors. Thousands of people have already done this and so far have not found any elementary security risks.

The second reason is the experience of the past six years. That is how long the Bitcoin protocol has been running and at the latest since the end of 2013, when a Bitcoin was briefly worth more than 1,000 US dollars, the Bitcoin protocol is a highly attractive target for hackers all over the world. Nevertheless, no one has yet managed to crack Bitcoin.

What else should I consider if I want to use Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is officially still a big live experiment as to whether and how digital money can work at all. The fact that it has been working very well for six years does not mean that the experiment cannot fail after all. Accordingly, you shouldn't invest all of your savings in Bitcoin at once because the value can fluctuate widely. And even if it seems unlikely, everything could even be gone from one day to the next.

Nonetheless, millions of people around the world are already using Bitcoin, developing new apps, founding start-ups and thereby beginning to change the digital world and how we deal with money and the Internet. In the USA, well-known investors, including the New York Stock Exchange, recently acquired shares in Coinbase, a state-licensed trading exchange.

It is therefore worth trying out digital money and experimenting with Bitcoin yourself. It is best to start with a small sum to learn how to use it. A rule of thumb says that you should never have more digital money in your wallet than you have cash in your wallet. A possible loss would be annoying, but not the end of the world.

Further information

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