What is Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency- meaning, if you have bitcoins, you do not physically purchase goods by handing notes or tokens to the seller. Bitcoins are used for electronic purchases and transfers. You can use bitcoins to pay friends, merchants, etc. Bitcoin allows people to send or receive money across the internet, even to someone they don’t know or don’t trust. Money can be exchanged without being linked to a real identity.

How do I get bitcoins

Obtaining bitcoins through an exchange is the most common and feasible way to get started. There are hundreds of online exchanges through which you can obtain bitcoins. You simply register, enter your personal information, and purchase bitcoins using your credit card/bank account. Most exchanges require you to verify your identity by uploading your ID/Passport. The most popular international exchanges are https://www.localbitcoins.com/; https://www.coinbase.com/ ; https://www.coinmama.com/ . International exchanges require you to have a credit/debit card eg Mastercard, Visa Card to purchase bitcoins from Zimbabwe. You can use the Ecocash MasterCard, but it now has a monthly limit of $200 for online transactions. You can use mastercard/visa card from your bank eg Stanchart, Barclays, FBC, Ecobank etc though they now have different limitations on the transactions limit.

Locally you can use the Zimbabwean website https://www.bitcoinfundi.com/ as it allows you to purchase bitcoin using Ecocash. However the price you buy bitcoins at from the website is much higher than the international price.

Bitcoin is divisible.   Let’s say 1 Bitcoin costs $2500.You can buy 0.1 bitcoins at $250. Or 0.01 bitcoins at $25.

How do I make money with Bitcoins

Bitcoins are not an easy money making machine. Many people are falling into bitcoin pyramid scams and losing money. Some schemes will promise you eg 10% monthly returns etc, don’t fall for such.

Bitcoin is just a currency, just like rands or pounds, the difference being that bitcoins are a virtual/digital currency. How do you make money using rands? What about pounds?

The major way people make money using bitcoins is by speculation. Bitcoins are highly volatile. In July 2013, the price of bitcoin was $76, in December 2013, 1 Bitcoin price rose to $1000, by December 2014, it had fallen to $300. 1 January 2017, 1 Bitcoin was worth about $1000. Today (June 2017) its worth about $2500. By 31 December 2017, 1 Bitcoin maybe worth $5 000, or it may be worth $500. Who knows?

So if you buy bitcoin today, and it increases in value next month, and you sell it at a higher value, you would have made money. If you had bought 1 Bitcoin at $1000 on 1 January 2017, today (June 2017) you would have sold it at $2500, and made a cool $1500 profit. Do we have any guarantee that the price of bitcoin is going to increase? No. It’s just speculation.

This is not easy money. Do not invest money in what you don’t understand. If you do decide to invest money in bitcoins, then don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose. Bitcoin is a risky and volatile currency. The price of bitcoin may increase significantly in the coming months, or it may drop significantly. 

Other uses of bitcoins

Bitcoin is a currency on its own right. It can be used to pay for online transactions e.g. you can buy vehicles from BeForward Japan using bitcoin. You can also receive payments using bitcoin e.g. if you sell a product a product online.

Other currencies like Bitcoin

Digital money like bitcoins is known as cryptocurrency. Other popular cryptocurrencies include ethereum, ripple, litecoin and they function in a similar way to bitcoin. 

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