Mint Money Knowledge Center: What is Bitcoin?

What is BitcoinBitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency. In fact, Bitcoin is the most popular and well-recognized form of cryptocurrency, established in 2009. Cryptocurrency is a form of digital money, derived from encryption techniques that are used to regulate the production of units of currency and to verify when funds are transferred. Bitcoin works completely independently of any centralized bank, therefore is not associated with the U.S. Federal Reserve System or any other government-controlled and operated currency. The advantage of this is that governments can't devalue or drive inflation within the currency by printing more money or any other means.

Bitcoin is also traded anonymously. This means that you can make purchases outside the country or with entities you don't know without compromising your privacy or security. A variety of merchants accept Bitcoin as payment, including coffee shops, beauty parlors, and a host of online retailers. Unlike dollars or credit cards, nobody can steal your Bitcoin when you're on vacation or when you're trying to get to your car in a back alley after dark.

Businesses enjoy accepting Bitcoin as payment because, unlike debit and credit cards, they don't have to pay a transaction fee for accepting Bitcoin as payment. Bitcoin is also becoming a popular means of investments by those who aren't convinced the government's handling of the U.S. Dollar is going to pay off with value in the long run. There are also Bitcoin exchanges where people can buy Bitcoin currency using various world currencies or sell their Bitcoin currency for real cash.

If you would like to learn more about Bitcoin and its unique method of buying, selling, and investing, sign up for free at Mint.com today.

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