Before you start thinking about owning your own bitcoins, what you should do first is understand what Bitcoin is all about. Bitcoin is a digital currency that is independent from a central authority. It doesn’t need third party brokers like banking institutions or the government and as such are not controlled by them. Instead, they are created and controlled electronically by complex algorithms. Bitcoins are created by a process called mining which uses software program that is able to solve complex mathematical equations or problems.
For the few years that Bitcoin has existed, it has definitely grown into a powerful online currency that could potentially revolutionize the way people spend their money. From a value of only about a few cents five years ago, Bitcoin is now valued at $645.
One of the most notable traits of bitcoin is its decentralization. Bitcoin is decentralized, meaning it isn’t controlled or regulated by the government and as such, it enjoys a lot of liberties. It is also with these liberties that you should pay caution. Because of its decentralization, it is less likely to experience inflation. Unlike with centralized currencies where the government can always print out more, Bitcoin has a set of limit of 21 million bitcoins which means that there wouldn’t be any more bitcoins in circulation above that number. Inflation is often caused by the government’s printing more money which reduces the value of the currency along with the purchasing power of the people.
To acquire bitcoins, you can either purchase them from exchanges or mine them yourself if you have the means to do so. But before you do that, you must first have a bitcoin wallet which is basically an electronic wallet where you can store and send your bitcoins.
Buying from an exchange is the most common way of getting bitcoins. To buy from an exchange, you must choose one that trades in your currency. Afterwards, you need to register and then start trading. Note that you can also buy portions of Bitcoins rather than a whole bitcoin because they tend to be expensive.
To mine bitcoins, you would need to acquire bitcoin mining software which can easily be bought online.